The engraved Latin inscription on the back identifies the subject: “Bishop Reginald of Bath hands this over to Queen Margaret of Sicily.” The inscription on the front lists the relics once contained under a crystal: “Of the blood of Saint Thomas martyr. Of his vestments stained with his blood: of the cloak, the belt, the hood, the shoe, the shirt.” The bishop probably presented this pendant to the queen on the occasion of her son’s marriage in 1177 to the daughter of Henry II. The king had instigated the murder of his former friend and chancellor, Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, on December 29, 1170.
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Title:Reliquary Pendant with Queen Margaret of Sicily Blessed by Bishop Reginald of Bath
Geography:Made in Canterbury, England
Dimensions:Overall: 1 15/16 x 1 1/4 x 1/4 in. (5 x 3.1 x 0.7 cm)
Credit Line:Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1961
Inscription: (on narrow border of front around opening for relics, interior border): + DE SAN / GVINE S[AN]C[T]I ThOME M[ARTY] / RIS . DE VESTIBV / 3 SVIS SANGVINE SVO TI / NCTIS (From the blood of Saint Thomas the Martyr, from his clothes having been dyed by his blood)
(on narrow border of front around opening for relics, exterior border): DE PEL / LICIA . DE CILITIO[LO] . DE / CVCVLLA . DE CAL / CIAMENTO . ET . CAMI / SIA :: (From the skin, from the small garment, from the hood, from the shoe, [from the] shirt)
(on back around border beginning under suspension ring): + ISTVD / REGINE MARGARETE / SICVLOR[UM] . TRA[N]SMIT / TIT PR[A]ESVL RAINAVD[VS] BA / TONIOR[UM] . (Bishop Reginald of the people of Bath sends over that one [for] Queen Margaret of the people of Sicily)
Piero Tozzi Galleries Inc., New York (sold 1963)
Hayward Gallery. "English Romanesque Art 1066—1200," April 5–July 8, 1984.
Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. "Il Re dei Confessori: dalla croce dei Cloisters alle croci italiane," August–October 1984.
Museo Poldi Pezzoli. "Il Re dei Confessori: dalla croce dei Cloisters alle croci italiane," October–December 1984.
Palazzo Venezia. "I Normanni: Popolo d'Europa 1030–1200," January 28–April 30, 1994.
McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College. "Memory and The Middle Ages," February 17–May 21, 1995.
London. British Museum. "Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe," June 23, 2011–October 9, 2011.
Los Angeles. J. Paul Getty Museum. "Canterbury Glass and the St. Albans Psalter: Treasures from Church and Cloister," September 30, 2013–February 2, 2014.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Winchester Bible: A Masterpiece of Medieval Art in Context," December 8, 2014–March 8, 2015.
London. British Museum. "Sicily: Culture and Conquest," April 21, 2016–August 14, 2016.
Hoving, Thomas. "A Newly Discovered Reliquary of St. Thomas Becket." Gesta 4 (Spring 1965). pp. 28–30, fig. 2, 3.
Hoving, Thomas. "The Thread of Patronage: The Medieval Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters." Apollo 82, no. 43 (September 1965). pp. 182–83, fig. 5, ill. p. 179.
Newton, Peter A. "Some New Material for the Study of the Iconography of St. Thomas Becket." In Thomas Becket: Actes du colloque international de Sédières, 19-24 août 1973. Paris: Beauchesne, 1975. pp. 260–62, ill.
Bertelli, Carlo, ed. "Da Bury St. Edmunds alle croci italiane." In Il Re dei Confessori: dalla croce dei Cloisters alle croci italiane. Venice: Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, 1984. pp. 97–99, fig. 46.
Zarnecki, George, Janet Holt, and Tristram Holland, ed. English Romanesque Art, 1066-1200. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1984. no. 303, p. 283.
Barlow, Frank. Thomas Becket. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986. fig. 40.
Netzer, Nancy, and Virginia Reinburg, ed. Memory and the Middle Ages. Chestnut Hill, Mass.: Boston College Museum of Art, 1995. no. 17, p. 102.
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. 17, pp. 24–25.
Bagnoli, Martina, Holger A. Klein, C. Griffith Mann, and James Robinson, ed. Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe. Cleveland, Baltimore, and London: Cleveland Museum of Art, 2010. no. 98, pp. 186–187.
Koopmans, Rachel M. "Between the Limousin and the Holy Land: Prisoners, Performance, and the Portal of San Leonardo at Siponto." Gesta 54, no. 1 (Spring 2015). pp. 52–53, fig. 16.
Koopmans, Rachel M. "Visions, Reliquaries, and the Image of 'Becket’s Shrine' in the Miracle Windows of Canterbury Cathedral." Gesta 54, no. 1 (Spring 2015). pp. 52, 53, fig. 16.
Tammen, Silke. "Bild und Heil am Körper: Reliquiaranhänger." In Kanon Kunstgeschichte. Einführung in Werke, Methoden und Epochen: Volume 1, Mittelalter, edited by Kristin Marek, and Martin Schulz. Berlin: Wilhelm Fink, 2015. pp. 305–6, fig. 4.
Booms, Dirk, and Peter Higgs, ed. Sicily: Culture and Conquest. London: British Museum, 2016. pp. 240–43, fig. 193.
de Beer, Lloyd, and Naomi Speakman. Thomas Becket: Murder and the Making of a Saint. London: British Museum, 2021. pp. 98–100, fig. 3.14.
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