Plaque with Beasts

German (Cologne)
about 1185

Object Place: Europe, Cologne, Germany


3 x 8.7 cm (1 3/16 x 3 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Champlevé enamel and gilding on copper

Not On View





Rectangular plaque with beaded edges; six pinholes. Hammered, tooled, champlevé, enameled, and gilded. Enamel colors are lapis blue, turquoise, and light blue in single and mixed fields of two colors. Three lapis-blue rectangles depict a fantastic beast in reserve, engraved and filled with lapis-blue enamel. Rectangles are framed by a reserved band and two turquoise and light-blue enamel bands. Two dog-like beasts crouch facing toward the center with noses to the ground and long tails tucked under their bodies. The central beast, resembling a ram, faces right. On the reverse the number “14” is written in india ink.


About 1185, the Shrine of Saints Mauritius and Innocentius, Saint Servatius, Siegburg, Germany (original commission); 1902, removed from the shrine by Paul Beumers, Düsseldorf [see note 1]. 1939, B. Geladakis, Paris; August 21, 1939, sold by Geladakis to the Brummer Gallery, New York (stock no. P16054); 1947, sold by Joseph Brummer to the MFA for $3650. (Accession Date: November 13, 1947)

[1] See Hanns Swarzenski and Nancy Netzer, "Medieval Objects in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Enamels and Glass" (Boston, 1980), p. 64, cat. no. 15. Beumers restored several of the shrines in the Treasury of Saint Servatius in 1901-1902 and probably removed it at that time.

Credit Line

Otis Norcross Fund