Among the most splendid objects in the great churches of Cologne are large architectural shrines containing relics associated with local saints. These ambitious goldsmiths’ works are among the greatest artistic achievements of their time. Refined decorative fragments like the small rectangular plaques shown here are often all that remain of these monumental objects, as many were dismantled or even destroyed following the secularization of church property in this region in the first decade of the nineteenth century. During later efforts to restore shrines, some fragments were replaced and the originals sold to collectors and museums.
Paul Beumer, Dusseldorf; [ E. Geladakis, Paris (1939)]; [ Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York (1939–49)]; Parke-Bernet Galleries(Estate of Joseph Brummer, May 14, 1949, lot 721); Alastair Bradley Martin, Glen Head, NY (1949?–until 1952)
The Notable Art Collection belonging to the Estate of the Late Joseph Brummer. New York: Parke-Bernet Galleries, April 20–23, 1949. no. 701, p. 184, ill. p. 183.
Swarzenski, Hanns, and Nancy Netzer. Enamels & Glass: Catalogue of Medieval Objects. Catalogue of Medieval Objects in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1986. p. 68, fig. 18.