Reliquary Arm of St. Valentine, Silver, partial gilt, sapphire, Swiss

Reliquary Arm of St. Valentine

14th century
Silver, partial gilt, sapphire
21 3/4 x 7 5/8 x 6 1/4 in. (55.2 x 19.4 x 15.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.351a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 306
Displayed on the high altar of Basel Cathedral on important feast days, this reliquary, like others of its classic type, was also used in public processions and for veneration. Such reliquaries not only evoke the memory and presence of a particular person but also communicate the broader idea of a saint's power and grace, embodied in the blessing gesture of the hand.
Basel Cathedral ; Frédéric Spitzer(until 1893); J. Pierpont Morgan (American), London and New York (until 1917)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cranach's Saint Maurice," April 20–July 27, 2015.

La Collection Spitzer: Antiquité, Moyen-Age, Renaissance. Vol. I. Mâcon: Imprimerie Protat Frères, 1890–1891. no. Orfèvrerie religieuse 124, p. 137.

Spitzer, Frédéric, ed. La Collection Spitzer: Antiquité -- Moyen-Age -- Renaissance. Vol. 1. Paris: Maison Quantin, 1890–1893. no. Orfèvrerie religieuse 124, p. 135, ill. in text.

Catalogue des objets d'art et de haute curiosité: antiques, du moyen-âge & de la renaissance: composant l'importante et précieuse Collection Spitzer. Vol. 1. Paris: Chevallier and Mannheim, April 17–June 16, 1893. no. 331, p. 60, pl. V.

Braun, Joseph. Die Reliquiare des christlichen Kultes und ihre Entwicklung. Freiburg im Breisgau: Verlag Herder, 1940. pp. 393, 404, pl. 123, fig. 467.

Fritz, Johann Michael. Goldschmiedekunst der Gotik in Mitteleuropa. Munich: C. H. Beck, 1982. p. 230, fig. 305.

Netzer, Nancy, and Virginia Reinburg, ed. Memory and the Middle Ages. Chestnut Hill, Mass.: Boston College Museum of Art, 1995. no. 19, p. 103.

Reinburg, Virginia. "Remembering the Saints." In Memory and the Middle Ages, edited by Nancy Netzer, and Virginia Reinburg. Chestnut Hill, Mass.: Boston College Museum of Art, 1995. no. 19, pp. 24-25.

Husband, Timothy B. The Treasury of Basel Cathedral. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2001. no. 43, pp.116-117.

Berkemeier-Favre, Marie-Claire, Therese Wollmann, Martin Sauter, Sabine Häberli, and Ines Braun-Balzer. Der Basler Münsterschatz: Historisches Museum Basel, edited by Brigitte Meles. Basel: Christoph Merian Verlag, 2001. no. 18, pp. 80-82.