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Reliquary with Apostles
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Reliquary with Apostles

Description Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description This octagonal reliquary, or container for saints' relics, is decorated with standing figures of eight apostles, all carved in a compact, linear style more typical of the 11th and 12th centuries. The shape of the reliquary, though, is 13th-century. The plaques are carved from bone, which was more plentiful and less expensive than elephant ivory. The reliquary, one of seven small tower-shaped vessels to survive from Cologne, originally rested on four short feet and was crowned by a knob finial.
  • Ivory: The Sumptuous Art. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1983-1984.
  • Reliquaries and Ritual: Medieval Objects of Devotion. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Transcription] Scrolls held by each apostle inscribed with carved letters filled with alternating gold gilt and paste infill read: PETRVS/S PAVLVS/S ANDREAS/S IACOES/S THOMAS/S MATHEVS/S IHILIPPVS/S IOHANNES; [Translation] Saints Peter, Paul, Andrew, James, Thomas, Matthew, Phillip, and John. [Transcription] Tablets held by evangelist symbols on the plaques of the octagonal roof are inscribed with paste infilled letters: MAR/CUS/LUC/AS/MAT/HEUS/IOH; [Translation] Mark, Luke, Matthew, and John.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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mid 13th century (Medieval)
bone on wooden frame with gilding and red and green paste inlays
(Ivory & Bone)
Accession Number
7 7/8 x 5 3/16 x 5 3/16 in. (20 x 13.2 x 13.3 cm)


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