Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Arm Reliquary

Date:
ca. 1230
Geography:
Made in Meuse Valley, South Netherlands
Culture:
South Netherlandish
Medium:
Silver, gilded silver, niello, and gems; wood core
Dimensions:
25 1/2 x 6 1/2 x 4 in. (64.8 x 16.5 x 10.2 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Silver
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1947
Accession Number:
47.101.33
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 14
This container for the precious remains of a saint adopts the form of the relics it likely once held—fragments of a saint’s arm. When the reliquary was set on an altar, the sacred bones could be perceived in the two windows, once covered with crystal, which are cut into the silver. When carried in procession, the imposing image of the saint’s arm raised in blessing could be seen easily by the faithful, even from a distance. The rich combination of materials used for the sleeve of the saint’s vestment typifies goldsmith’s work produced in the Meuse Valley, now a part of modern Belgium, and is related to the style of Brother Hugo of Oignies, a celebrated thirteenth-century artist.
#53. Reliquary Arm
For Audio Guide tours and information, visit metmuseum.org/audioguide.
Baron Emmanuel De Decker, Brussels ; [ Raphael Stora, Paris and New York (sold 1937)] ; [ Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York (1937–sold 1947)]
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Arts of the Middle Ages: A Loan Exhibition," February 17, 1940–March 24, 1940.

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