Plaque with Head in Medallion

German (Cologne)
about 1183
Maker Unidentified

Object Place: Europe, Cologne, Germany


2.7 x 2.7 cm (1 1/16 x 1 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Champlevé enamel and gilding on copper

Not On View





Lozenge plaque with four pinholes. Hammered, champlevé, enameled, and gilded. Enamel color is lapis blue. Trilobed gilded leaves in relief fill the corners around a medallion with a frontal head in reserve against a lapis-blue ground.


About 1183, the Shrine of Saint Anno, Saint Michael's Abbey, Siegburg, Germany (original commission); about 1901-1902, removed from the shrine by Paul Beumers, Düsseldorf [see note 1]. 1939, with Geladakis (dealer), Paris; August 21, 1939, sold by Geladakis to the Brummer Gallery, New York; April 20-23, 1949, Brummer sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, lot 697, to Georg Swarzenski (b. 1876 - d. 1957), Boston; by descent to Anna Maria Swarzenski, Boston; 1974, sold from the estate of Anna Maria Swarzenski to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 11, 1974)

[1] See Hanns Swarzenski and Nancy Netzer, "Medieval Objects in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Enamels and Glass" (Boston, 1980), p. 60, cat. no. 13. The shrine was moved to the Treasury of Saint Servatius in the 19th century. Beumers restored several of the shrines in the Treasury in 1901-1902 and probably removed it at that time.

Credit Line

Seth K. Sweetser Fund