Ornamental Plaque

German (Cologne)
about 1186
Maker Unidentified

Object Place: Europe, Cologne, Germany


2.9 x 15.6 cm (1 1/8 x 6 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Champlevé and cloisonné enamel and gilding on copper

Not On View





Rectangular plaque with six pinholes. Hammered, champlevé, cloisonné, enameled, and gilded. Enamel colors are lapis blue, turquoise, red, and white in single and mixed fields. An imbrication pattern consists of two rows of semicircles filled with trilobed cloisonné leaves and triangular centers. The bottom row alternates between red grounds with white leaves and turquoise triangles and white grounds with red leaves, and red triangles. Blue grounds, white leaves, and a mixed center field of red and turquoise fill the upper row. Spandrels on the top are alternately turquoise with single red cloisonné leaves and red with white leaves. On the reverse are two sets of zigzag bands (possibly assembly marks or chisel trials).


About 1186, the Shrine of St. Albinus, Saint Pantaleon, Cologne (original commission); about 1901-1902, removed from the shrine by Paul Beumers, Düsseldorf. 1939, Mme. Trichard; December 12, 1939, sold by Trichard to the Brummer Gallery, New York (stock no. P16056); 1947, sold by Brummer to the MFA for $1200. (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. 68, cat. no. 17. In a letter from Charles Little of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to Nancy Netzer of the MFA (January 17, 1984), Beumers is said to have restored the shrine around 1901-1902 and removed this and other plaques from it at that time.

Credit Line

William E. Nickerson Fund