Morse with Crucifixion

French (Limoges?)
Medieval (Gothic)
early 14th century
Made at Limoges (France)

Object Place: Europe, Limoges (?), France


17.3 x 17.6 cm (6 13/16 x 6 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Champlevé enamel and gilding on copper

Not On View





[inscription] Octafoil plaque with a molded edge representing the Crucifixion in repoussé. Hammered into a mold, champlevé, engraved, enameled, and gilded. Eleven pinholes are pierced around the edge to sew it to the garment. Larger pinholes at the top and bottom of the cross and four loops soldered to the back are modern. Enamel colors are lapis blue and red. The central Crucifix shows a dead Christ with a cruciform nimbus, long hair and short beard, his head turned to the left. The torso is marked by a series of short parallel lines defining the ribcage, and the loincloth has deep angular folds. The body, twisted to the left, is attached by three nails to the crux florida. IH[ESU]S is inscribed on a diagonal panel fastened to the cross. Facing angels holding images of the sun (left) and moon (right) kneel on one knee on the arms of the cross. On the left, the mourning Virgin stands in a swayed posture in three-quarter view with her hands clasped over her breast. Her mantle falls in two large folds down the front. John stands weeping on the right. His lower body is frontal with his feet perched on a corner of the frame, while his torso is turned to the right. In an awkward pose he raises his draped right hand and holds a book close to his body with his left hand. The two figures have halos decorated with lapis-blue arches against a red ground. The background is lapis blue with six-pointed stars in reserve.


Until 1868, Albert Germeau (d. by 1868), Paris; May 5, 1868, posthumous Germeau sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, lot 62. Until 1907, Armand Queyroi (d. by 1907), Paris; February 26, 1907, posthumous Queyroi sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, lot 29. 1924, Léonce Alexandre Rosenberg (b. 1877 - d. 1947), Paris; June 12, 1924, Rosenberg sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, lot 58. Henri Daguerre, Paris [see note 1]. 1944, Alexander Max Bing (b. 1878 - d. 1959), New York; November 11, 1944, sold by Bing to the Brummer Gallery, New York (stock no. N6162); May 14, 1949, Brummer sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, lot 724, to the MFA for $600. (Accession Date: May 12, 1949)

[1] According to the Brummer inventory card.

Credit Line

William Francis Warden Fund