Shoe reliquary, ca. 1350–1400
French or Swiss
Leather and Iron; H. 5 1/4 in. (13.3 cm), W. 11 1/4 in. (28.6 cm), D. 4 5/8 in. (11.7 cm)
The Cloisters Collection, 1947 (47.101.65)
Scenes from the legend of Saint Margaret of Antioch are tooled into this case for a reliquary in the form of a foot. According to her legend, Saint Margaret was swallowed by a dragon, but, fortuitously, she was carrying a cross that caused the dragon's belly to split open and the saint to be freed. Saint Margaret was one of the fourteen Holy Helpers and patroness of childbirth, invoked by women for protection during delivery.