Ornamental Plaque

German (Cologne)
about 1160–70
Maker Unidentified

Object Place: Europe, Cologne, Germany


9.3 x 4.2 cm (3 11/16 x 1 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Champlevé enamel and gilding on copper

Not On View





Rectangular plaque with two beaded sides; three pinholes. Hammered, tooled, champlevé, enameled, and gilded. Enamel colors are lapis blue, light blue , turquoise (two shades), green (two shades), yellow, and white in single and mixed fields of up to three colors. Within a blue and white border, blue and white tendrils form three hearts, each separated by a pair of turquoise and white leaves. Springing from a green and white bud are a pair of tightly curled leaves at the bottom (blue and white inside and turquoise and white outside), a pair of leaves wrapping around the tendrils (turquoise and white inside and green and white outside), and a blue and white scalloped central stalk that sits below a green and white arch and a series of small yellow circles alternating with blue and white rectangles. The accession number “K4203C” of the Königlich-Preussische Kunstkammer is written in india ink on the reverse.


1835, Karl Ferdinand Friedrich von Nagler (b. 1770 - d. 1846), Berlin; 1835, sold by Nagler to the Königlich Preussische Kunstkammer (later the Schlossmuseum), Berlin (inventory no. K4203c); May 14, 1937, exchanged by the Schlossmuseum with J. Rosenbaum (dealer), Frankfurt [see note 1]; probably sold by Rosenbaum to Rosenberg and Stiebel, New York [see note 2]; September 4, 1941, sold by Rosenberg and Stiebel to the Brummer Gallery, New York (stock no. N5224); 1947, sold by Brummer to the MFA for $750. (Accession Date: November 13, 1947)

[1] The provenance given here (through 1937) was provided in a letter from Dietrich Kötzsche, Kunstgewerbemuseum (formerly the Schlossmuseum), Berlin to Nancy Netzer of the MFA (May 9, 1984; in MFA curatorial file) and confirmed by Sven Haase, Deputy Director, Zentralarchiv, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (October 13, 2016). On the sale of Nagler's collection to the Prussian State, see Susanne Netzer, "Karl Ferdinand Friedrich von Nagler, Berlin (1770-1846)," in Glück, Leidenschaft, und Verantwortung: das Kunstgewerbemuseum und seine Sammler (Berlin: Staatliche Museen, 1996), pp. 12-15.

[2] Jakob Rosenbaum founded his family's art business in Frankfurt in the 19th century; his nephew established Rosenberg and Stiebel in New York in 1939.

Credit Line

Frederick Brown Fund