Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Reliquary Cross

Date:
ca. 1180
Geography:
Made in Limoges, France
Culture:
French
Medium:
Silver gilt, rock crystal, glass cabochons; wood core
Dimensions:
Overall (w/ tang): 11 3/4 x 4 15/16 x 1 in. (29.8 x 12.5 x 2.5 cm)
Overall (w/o tang): 10 x 4 15/16 x 1 in. (25.4 x 12.5 x 2.5 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Silver
Credit Line:
Purchase, Michel David-Weill Gift, The Cloisters Collection, and Mme. Robert Gras Gift, in memory of Dr. Robert Gras, 2002
Accession Number:
2002.18
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 14
Twelfth-century churchmen and the nobility in central France prided themselves on their devotion to the scared sites of the Holy Land. Relics from that region, alternating with more than sixty "gems" of colored glass, are set like jewels on this cross. Identified by inscriptions along the sides, they include a fragment of wood believed to be from the cross on which Jesus died, relics of his tomb, and relics of the Virgin Mary, the Holy Innocents, and early deacons of the Church.
Inscription: On the proper right side of the shaft, running up: De sepulcro dñi; De sepulcro be Marie
On the proper left side of the shaft, running down: S hermetis mi: capilli sci stephi.m
Over the proper right arm: De innocentib
Over the proper left arm: S apollinaris, obscured by a strip of metal engraved: S vincenci
Under the proper left arm: De calvarie
Under the proper right arm: De nativitate dñi
Probably from the Abbey of Grandmont, France; Félix Doistau 1846–1936, Paris ; [private collection sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris (December 19-20, 1919, no. 202)] ; Professor Augustin Gilbert, Paris (sold 1927) ; [his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris (November 29-December 1, 1927, no. 16)] ; [ Brimo de Laroussilhe, Paris (from 1927)] ; Withney collection ; [Collection de Monsieur X sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris (June 20, 1961, no. 13) ; [sale, Le Mans (April 3, 1963)] ; [ Brimo de Laroussilhe, Paris (sold 2002)]
Cleveland. Cleveland Museum of Art. "Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe," October 17, 2010–January 17, 2011.

Baltimore. Walters Art Museum. "Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe," February 13, 2011–May 15, 2011.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven," September 26, 2016–January 8, 2017.

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