Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Shoe Reliquary

ca. 1350–1400
French or Swiss
Leather and Iron
H: 5 1/4" W: 11 1/4" D: 4 5/8" (13.3 x 28.6 x 11.7cm)
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1947
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 10
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.
Marking: Arms: (on 4 shields on top and back section) unidentified
[ Nicolas Brimo, Paris (sold 1933)] ; [ Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York (1933–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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