Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Plaque with Marking of the Door with the Letter Tau

ca. 1200
Champlevé enamel, copper alloy, gilt
Overall: 2 9/16 x 2 15/16 x 3/16 in. (6.5 x 7.5 x 0.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304
The image here had its origin in the Passover, when Moses ordered the elders of Israel to mark the houses of the Israelites with the blood of a slain lamb to protect their households. For Christians, the tau came to be seen as an emblem of God's protection. In the enamel, the mark is placed on a building resembling a medieval church, with a prominent cross on the roof.
Victor Gay, Paris; Georges Hoentschel (French); J. Pierpont Morgan (American), London and New York (until 1917)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Arts of the Middle Ages: A Loan Exhibition," February 17, 1940–March 24, 1940.

Arts of the Middle Ages: A Loan Exhibition. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1940. no. 248, p. 72, pl. XXIX.

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