Shoe Reliquary

Date: ca. 1350–1400

Culture: French or Swiss

Medium: Leather and Iron

Dimensions: H: 5 1/4" W: 11 1/4" D: 4 5/8" (13.3 x 28.6 x 11.7cm)

Classification: Leatherwork

Credit Line: The Cloisters Collection, 1947

Accession Number: 47.101.65


Scenes from the legend of Saint Margaret of Antioch are tooled into this case for a reliquary in the form of a foot. According to her legend, Saint Margaret was swallowed by a dragon, but, fortuitously, she was carrying a cross that caused the dragon's belly to split open and the saint to be freed. Saint Margaret was one of the fourteen Holy Helpers and patroness of childbirth, invoked by women for protection during delivery.