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Eucharistic Dove

Date:
ca. 1215–35
Geography:
Made in Limoges, France
Culture:
French
Medium:
Copper: formed, engraved, chiseled, scraped, stippled, and gilt; champlevé enamel: dark and medium blue, red, yellow, turquoise, medium green and white; blue-black glass inset eyes.
Dimensions:
Overall: 7 1/2 x 7 13/16 x 2 13/16 in. (19 x 19.8 x 7.2 cm) with modern mount: 7 9/16 x 9 3/8 x 6 15/16 in. (19.2 x 23.8 x 17.7 cm) diameter of enameled inner circular base: 3 3/8 in. (8.5 cm)
Classification:
Enamels-Champlevé
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.344
  • Description

    Rich with gilding, its overall surface engraved and enameled in a pattern that suggests layers of feathers, this dove would have hung over an altar as an evocation of the Holy Spirit. A tear-shaped door on its back conceals a small cavity once used to hold the bread of the Eucharist. Though many textual sources mention gold and silver doves, suggesting these materials were part of the standard liturgical furnishings for churches and communities that could afford them, few examples survive. On the other hand, doves of Limoges work fashioned from copper and enameled in brilliant colors exist in large numbers.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Inscription: IH[ESU]S.

  • Provenance

    Aimé Desmottes, Paris (until 1900); his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris (March 19-23, 1900, no. 5); Georges Hoentschel (French, Paris 1855–1915 Paris)(by 1911); [ Jacques Seligmann, Paris and New York (January 1912)]; J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York; Estate of J. Pierpont Morgan(1913–1917)

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
464324

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