On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 14

This monstrance is constructed largely of silver sheets that have been decorated with elaborate pierced work, a technique favored by Spanish goldsmiths in the early sixteenth century. The enamel and niello medallions represent a lioness breathing life into its cubs and a pelican feeding its fledglings with the blood of its breast. Both subjects allude to the redemption of humankind through Christ's sacrifice, suggesting that the vessel originally displayed a Eucharistic wafer.

Monstrance, Silver, silver gilt, translucent and opaque enamels, rock crystal, Spanish

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