Oval Plaque with Saint Edmund and Angels

English (?)
late 14th century (?)
Maker Unidentified


Object Place: Europe, England (?)

Dimensions

6.2 x 5.1 cm (2 7/16 x 2 in.)

Accession Number

63.1249

Medium or Technique

Basse-taille enamel and gilding on silver

Not On View

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Enamels

An oval plaque with a circular area cut out in the center. Hammered, engraved, enameled, and gilded. Enamel colors are opaque red and translucent lapis blue, green, light blue green, purple (three shades), apple green, and amber. Clear enamel is also used. The upper portion of the plaque is divided into a triple pointed arcade whose red spandrels have green trefoil windows. The outer sides have wing-like designs in green and red. At the bottom is a reserved scroll placed against a lapis-blue ground and flanked by areas of green with three reserved triangles. Two angels in long amber tunics with scrolls, upright multicolored wings, and red halos stand in the outer arches. The angel on the right points to what was probably a crystal covering a relic in the garments composed of amber tops and skirts of clear enamel sit below the central circle. Their multicolored wings conform to the shape of the circle. Above is half-figure of Saint Edmund transfixed by arrows bound to a tree draped with a cloth that is apple green on one side and purple on the other. He is bearded and has a red halo, a domed purple crown with a clear enamel band at its base, and a loincloth of clear enamel. The lapis-blue background has a dotted lozenge pattern; the speckled groundline is a mixture of blue and clear glasses. The engraved lines of the hair are filled with amber glass; the others are filled with amber glass; the others are filled with the lapis blue of the background.

Provenance

1963, Hermann Baer, London; 1963, sold by Baer to the MFA for £80. (Accession date: September 18, 1963)

Credit Line

Theodora Wilbour Fund in memory of Charlotte Beebe Wilbour