Carolingian; From the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, Crannenburg, Germany, possibly made in Reims, northern France
Ivory with copper alloy gilt mounts and inlays
8 1/2 x 5 1/8 in. (21.6 x 13 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.45)
Ivory holy-water buckets are exceptionally rare; this is the earliest of four known examples. They are used to dispense blessed water on the faithful during processionals. Here the entire surface is decorated with scenes from the life of Christ. On the lower register is the Annuciation to the Virgin, the Visitation of Elizabeth to the Virgin, the Nativity, the Dream of Joseph, and the Baptism of Christ. On the upper register is the Betrayal of Christ, the Flagellation, the Last Supper, the Ascension, the Three Women at Christ's Tomb, and the Crucifixion.