Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Reliquary Cross

ca. 1366–1400
Made in the Marches, Italy
Translucent enamel, silver, silver-gilt, rock crystal, glass, iron tang
Overall (with tang): 24 5/16 x 16 5/16 x 1 1/16 in. (61.8 x 41.5 x 2.7 cm)
Overall (without tang): 19 3/8 x 16 5/16 x 1 1/16 in. (49.2 x 41.5 x 2.7 cm)
measurement of single quatrefoil: 3 9/16 x 3 9/16 x 13/16 in. (9.1 x 9.1 x 2.1 cm)
Ht. to spacer on tang: 20 3/16 in. (51.2 cm)
Enamels-Basse taille
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 306
The convex rock crystal at the center once sheltered and magnified a fragment of wood believed to be from the cross on which Jesus was crucified. The whole is sumptuously decorated with images of the life of Jesus on one side, and of saints linked to Saint Francis on the other. Many Franciscan communities in Italy commissioned works of art using translucent enamel, which shimmers like stained glass.
Baron Albert Oppenheim, Cologne(sold 1906); J. Pierpont Morgan (American), London and New York (1906-1917)
Reusens, Edmond Henri Joseph, ed. Exposition Rétrospective d'Art Industriel, Bruxelles 1888: Catalogue Officiel. Brussels: P. Weissenbruch, 1888. no. 213, pp. 104–5.

Molinier, Émile. Collection du Baron Albert Oppenheim: Tableaux et objets d'art, catalogue précédé d'une introduction. Paris: Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts, 1904. no. 138, p. 59.

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