Shrine, Matthias Walbaum (German, Kiel 1554–1632 Augsburg), Ebony, silver, gilded silver, gouache on parchment, German, Augsburg

Shrine

Maker:
Matthias Walbaum (German, Kiel 1554–1632 Augsburg)
Artist:
Miniatures by Anton Mozart (German, Augsburg 1573–1625 Augsburg)
Date:
1598–1600
Culture:
German, Augsburg
Medium:
Ebony, silver, gilded silver, gouache on parchment
Dimensions:
Overall (confirmed): 16 15/16 × 7 1/4 × 4 1/8 in. (43 × 18.4 × 10.5 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Silver In Combination
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.823
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 521
A splendid showcase of multiple materials and techniques, this miniature triptych was designed to inspire the private devotions of its owner (perhaps one of the Cardinals Madruzzo, successive Prince-Bishops of Trent). With precious metal tracery applied to expensive ebony, its hinged wooden doors invite handling. They lead not into a tiny Gothic chapel but onto an illusionistic nighttime landscape, busy with worshippers adoring the Christ Child. Both artists signed this glorious collaboration; Walbaum, as one of wealthy Augsburg’s most renowned goldsmiths, would probably have been the more vaunted of the two. Walbaum and Mozart worked together on at least one other, strikingly similar, miniature triptych.

[Elizabeth Cleland, 2017]
Signature: On central panel: A M f 98 [Anton Mozart fecit 1598]

Inscription: Sticker on base: Glasgow / Art Galleries and Museum / Reg. no. 120- '03.

Marking: [1] flower within a shield (maker's mark of Matthias Walbaum);
[2] pinecone (Augsburg town mark)

Location of marks:
Struck on back of finial piece, at base
Mr. Eugen Gutmann , Berlin (by 1907) ; J. Pierpont Morgan , New York and London (until 1913) ; by descent, J. P. Morgan Jr. , New York (1913–17; to MMA)