Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Unicorn Doorway

early 16th century
Made in Auvergne, France
Volcanic stone
Overall: 126 x 65 in. (320 x 165.1 cm)
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1948
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 18
The dark fine-grained volcanic stone typical of the Auvergne region is well suited to the images of a pair of sleek unicorns that support an unidentified coat of arms. In the late fifteenth century, the house belonged to the Knights Hospitaller, a Crusader order with both a military and a charitable mission.
Marking: [Arms]: Parti au 1ere à un chevron ployé accompagné de trois roses, deux en chef et une en pointe; au 2e au chevron ployé accompagné de trois écrevisses, deux en chef et une en pointe.
From the House of the Unicorns, 2 rue Parmentier, at Montferrand, near Clermont-Ferrand (property of Mrs. Beyle).; [ Jacques Seligmann, Paris and New York (sold 1924) ] ; William Randolph Hearst American, 1863–1951, New York and San Simeon, CA. (in 1924) ; [ Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York (sold 1948)]
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