Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Painted Box for Game Pieces

ca. 1300
Made in Upper Rhine region, Germany
Wood, polychromy and metal mounts
Overall: 3 1/8 x 10 3/8 x 3 5/8 in. (7.9 x 26.4 x 9.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, by exchange, 1976
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304
The unicorn appears at the front left, near a stag, the forest animal it most closely resembles. Judging from its painted decoration and shape, this box probably contained disk-shaped pieces for tric trac, a game similar to backgammon.
G. Haussler, Ulm; Dr. Albert Figdor, Vienna (until d. 1927); his posthumous sale, Paul Cassirerat Hotel Esplanade, Berlin (Sept. 29-30, 1930, no. 312); Oscar Bondy, Vienna (1930–confiscated by Nazi officials in 1938); restituted to his widow, Elizabeth Bondy, New York (by 1950); Louis V. Randall, Montreal; [ Blumka Gallery, New York (until 1976)]
Falke, Otto von, and Max J. Friedländer, ed. Die Sammlung Dr. Albert Figdor, Wien. part I, Vol. 5. Vienna: Paul Cassirer Verlag, 1930. no. 312, pl. CXXIV.

Gómez-Moreno, Carmen. Medieval Art from Private Collections: A Special Exhibition at The Cloisters, October 30, 1968 through January 5, 1969. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1968. no. 215.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Notable Acquisitions, 1975-1979 (Metropolitan Museum of Art) (1979). p. 25.

Schrader, J. L. "A Medieval Bestiary." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 44, no. 1 (Summer 1986). p. 10, fig. 10.

Bardiès-Fronty, Isabelle, and Anne-Elizabeth Dunn-Vaturi, ed. Art du Jeu, Jeu dans l'Art: De Babylone à l’Occident Médiéval. Paris: Musée National du Moyen Âge - Thermes et Hôtel de Cluny, 2012. no. 38, p. 72.

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