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.
Martin Hecksher, Vienna (until 1898) ; [ S. Durlacher, London (1898)] ; John Edward Taylor (before 1901-1912) ; his sale, Christie, Manson and Woods, London (July 1-9, 1912, no. 88) ; [ Harding (1912-?)] ; Edward J. Berwind, Philadelphia and New York (until d. 1936) ; his estate sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York (November 9-11, 1939, no. 380) ; [ Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York (until 1949) ] ; Ruth and Leopold Blumka, New York (1949-1995) ; Anthony Blumka American, New York (1995-1999)