Shoe Reliquary

French or Swiss

Not on view

Scenes of the life of Saint Margaret decorate this case, which was probably intended to hold a foot-shaped reliquary of precious material. Near the lock plate, the saint bursts free from the body of a dragon that had swallowed her. Because she overcame the ordeal unharmed, women suffering the pains of childbirth turned to Saint Margaret in prayer; it has been suggested that the loop at the back of this case would have allowed the reliquary to be suspended over an expectant woman’s bed.

Shoe Reliquary, Leather and Iron, French or Swiss

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