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Home > Auctions > 6th September 2022 > Medieval Limoges Processional Cross

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LOT 0411

GBP (£) 40,000 - 60,000
EUR (€) 47,820 - 71,740
USD ($) 48,720 - 73,080

Opening Bid
£36,000 (EUR 43,042; USD 43,851) (+bp*)

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Bid History: 0


A processional cross comprised of nailed copper-alloy sheaths, the surface decorated with rosettes and other motifs enamelled in champlevé on the four arms, light blue background and central flower in turquoise and red; on the lower arm an applied champlevé enamelled bronze figural mount of Virgin Mary with red nimbus, central bronze Corpus Christi wearing a crown of thorns, arms extended to the sides, short loincloth; the sides of the cross decorated with embossed volutes; the reverse with copper-alloy rivets, applied central roundel with enamelled bust of a saint (John, the Evangelist?) holding the Gospel in his left hand and right hand raised in benediction; mounted on a custom-made wooden display stand. 22 5/8 in. (2.7 kg, 57.5 cm high including stand).

Deceased estate collection of Pierre-Noël Drain (1929-2021), former director of fine arts in Dijon.
A very eclectic collection which included many remarkable 'Haute Époque' pieces.
Accompanied by an academic report by Dr. Raffaele D’Amato.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate no.11414-190982.

See Dalton, O.M., Fitzwilliam Museum McClean Bequest Catalogue of the Mediaeval Ivories, Enamels, Jewellery, Gems and Miscellaneous Objects Bequeathed to the Museum by Frank McClean, M.A., F.R.S., Cambridge University Press, 1912 (2009); Walters Art Gallery, Painted Enamels of Limoges, Baltimore, 1968; Campbell, M., An Introduction to Medieval Enamels, London, 1983; Toman, R., Romanesque Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, Cologne, 1997; Stratford, N., Catalogue of Medieval Enamels in the British Museum. Vol. II - Northern Romanesque Enamel, London, 1993; Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 17.190.332, for similar.

This cross is an exceptional example of Romanesque art combining champlevé enamel appliqués, flat panels with geometric ornament, and figural pieces with heads modelled in the round and garments formed as flat polychrome panels. However this piece has a long history, and is composed of elements from different periods; the Limoges cross and the façade plaques date from the late 13th century; while the circular plaque on the reverse, also from Limoges, dates from the second quarter of the 13th century; and the figure of Christ from Central France is from the 15th century A.D.