Medieval Europe - 900 - 1450 A.D.

Large Limoges 13 c. engraved copper Cross


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   A nice and rare processional cross in engraved copper from Limoges of the mid- to late XIII c.

   The terminals are shaped in fleur-de-lys ; one terminal is missing, on the right of the Christ, replaced at a latter date by a copper addition.
   On the main face, a copper Corpus of the Christ was originally attached in the center, now missing, His silhouette engraved, surmounted by engraved letters IHS
   acronym of the name Jesus in greek, also standing for Iesus Hominum Salvator).

   The Christ is surrounded by saints, two of them nicely preserved, a third partly visible, and one missing. The saints show a tiny face with beautiful curly hairs.

   The reverse show a simplified Judgement scene, with Christ as Christus Pantokrator in a circle holding the Holy Book of the Law, and raising His right hand.
   He is surrounded by engraved Evangelist, shown as animals. St John in on the top, as the eagle, St Marc on the right as the lion, and St Matthew in the bottom
   as the Man. Missing is St Luke as the ox.

   The cross is made from a large hammered sheet of copper, formerly gilded, some traces still visible. The engraving process was made with the "tremblé",
   or shaken, resulting in visible zigzag of the line. The engraving was created by the same artists working on other Limoges productions, caskets plates, pyxes,
   incenses boats.

   The space between figures is decorated by interlaced vegetals, or rincels, rosettes and a guilloché background

   Our cross can be dated to the second half of the XIII c., but a date in the middle of the XIII c. is probable.

   - Close equivalent - yet partial, Limoges 1240-1250 : Musée d'art religieux et d'art Mosan in Liege, Belgium
   - Earlier, simpler example with fleur-de-lys terminated cross in the Guéret museum
   - V Notin, Cuivres d' Orfèvres, Limoges 1996, no.8.
   - S. Campbell, The Malcove Collection, Toronto 1974, catalogue number M82. 375, page 288.

   Material : Engraved and gilt copper
   Origin : France
   Provenance : U.K. private collection - from a Belgian dealer
   Date : mid to late XIII c.
   Dimensions : H. : 35 cm

        Ref. : md-092  

   Price : SOLD - to be informed by e-mail when a similar item becomes available.


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