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Head of a Crozier with a Serpent Devouring a Flower

Date:
ca. 1200–1220
Geography:
Made in Limoges, France
Culture:
French
Medium:
Copper: formed, engraved, chased, scraped, stippled, and gilt; champlevé enamel: medium and light blue, light green, yellow, red, and white; glass cabochons
Dimensions:
Overall: 9 1/8 x 5 1/16 x 2 3/4 in. (23.1 x 12.8 x 7 cm)
Classification:
Enamels-Champlevé
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.833a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304
As early as the sixth century, the pastoral staff, or crozier, conveyed the authority of a bishop, abbot, or abbess. The serpent and flower are frequently combined on enamel croziers from Limoges. They allude to the rod of Moses that, in the presence of Pharaoh, miraculously turned into a serpent at the command of God, and to the flowering rod of Aaron, symbol of his election to the priesthood by God.
Georges Hoentschel (French, Paris 1855–1915 Paris); Jacques Seligmann, Paris and New York; J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (until 1917)
Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 1st ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1925. p. 105.

Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1929. p. 105.

Hayward, Jane. "Sacred Vestments as They Developed in the Middle Ages." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 29, no. 7 (March 1971). p. 308, fig. 17.

Gauthier, Marie-Madeleine. Émaux Méridionaux: Catalogue International de l'Oeuvre de Limoges; L'apogée 1190-1215. Corpus des émaux méridionaux, Vol. II. Paris: Éditions du centre national de la recherche scientifique, 1987 [2011]. no. IV A, no. 13, pp. 182-183.

Taburet-Delahaye, Elisabeth, and Barbara Drake Boehm, ed. L'Oeuvre de Limoges: Emaux limousins du Moyen Age. Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 1995. no. 82, p. 272.

Boehm, Barbara Drake, and Elisabeth Taburet-Delahaye, ed. Enamels of Limoges, 1100-1350. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1996. no. 81, p. 272.



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