Arm Reliquary

South Netherlandish

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

Arm Reliquary, Silver, gilded silver, niello, and gems; wood core , South Netherlandish

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