Description This crozier, possibly made in Sicily in the thirteenth century, is made of ivory with a depiction of an eagle set inside the crook. The curve of the crook is marked with small leaves or tendrils, reminiscent of the swirling vines that form the shapes of illuminated initials in some manuscripts from this period. The sprouting curve ends in the head of a dragon, with his mouth open and ears flattened against his head, and perched within this scroll is an eagle, the symbol of John the Evangelist. The eagle holds a book inscribed with abbreviated forms of the Latin words for "John" and "Evangelist," confirming that this is no ordinary bird, but a symbol of the Gospel author. The eagle turns his head to confront the dragon eye to eye - a depiction of the power of the Word of God to conquer evil. The piece is inset with colored glass, and there is evidence that parts of it were once set off with gold and paint.
- An Exhibition of the Treasures of The Walters Art Gallery. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton; Pace Wildenstein Gallery, New York. 1967.
- Ivory: The Sumptuous Art. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1983-1984.
- Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
- Highlights from the Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998-2001.
Provenance Henri Daguerre, Paris, by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters
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