Finial

Tower-shaped finial

German (?)
Medieval (Gothic)
mid-14th–mid-15th century


Object Place: Europe, England

Dimensions

7.5 x 2.5 cm (2 15/16 x 1 in.) With base: 14 cm (5 1/2 in.) high

Accession Number

55.467

Medium or Technique

Gilding and translucent enamel on silver (tower, various pieces: 98.1-98.2% silver, 1.8-1.9% copper; statuette: 96.4% silver, 3.6% copper)

Not On View

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Metalwork

Hexagonal tower-shaped finial with three tiers of windows and a statuette of the Virgin and Child on the pinnacle. Individual pieces were either cast or cut out, chased minimally, soldered together (windows enameled), and gilded. The three stories are soldered together, each comprising a sheet of metal with windows cut out and bent into a hexagon. A pair of lancets with cusped arches surmounted by a quatrefoil window appears on each side of the first story; upper stories have a single lancet with cusped arch on each side. Behind the first story a sheet of silver with fine cross-hatching serves as backing for translucent enamel (alternating on the sides between green and blue) in the windows. Gables with tracery are soldered above the windows on the first two stories, and buttresses with crocketed pyramidal roof with a statuette on a molded hexagonal base soldered to the top. The standing crowned Virgin holds the Christ Child in her right arm and a flowering rod in her left hand. The Christ Child holds an apple. Later base is hexagonal molded with baluster knob, probably 16th century.

Provenance

Until 1955, K.J. Hewett, London; 1955, sold by Hewett to the MFA for $336. (Accession Date: September 15, 1955)

Credit Line

Harriet Otis Cruft Fund