Reliquary Chasse

British

Not on view

Incised on the panels of this chasse is a series of bust-length figures within medallions. Represented on one lid panel is Christ flanked by Saints Peter and Paul, and on the other, the Virgin flanked by Saints Ursula and Cordula. On the front panel are Saints Elphege and Thomas Becket (both with martyrs’ palms), Dunstan, and Anselm, all canonized archbishops of Canterbury. On the back panel are Saints Blaise and Augustine. The end panels depict sainted English kings Edmund and Edward the Confessor. The choice of saints suggests that the chasse was made for Christ Church, Canterbury, a foundation rich in relics and, therefore, a full calendar of feast days. The saints represented here were mentioned in the early thirteenth-century calendar, or their relics were listed in the early fourteenth-century inventory. When the original gilding was intact, the medallions were more legible.

Reliquary Chasse, Copper; shaped, engraved, chased, and gilded; feet cast, British

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