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Casket (coffret) (End, left)

Casket (coffret) (End, left)
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End, right

Body, front

Lid



End, left

End, right

Bottom

Body, front


Lid

End, right

Body, back

Body, back

End, left


Subject
Secular. Arthurian romance. Courtly love.

Repository Institution
thewalters.org

To purchase an image
thewalters.org


Baltimore, Walters Art Museum

Inv. 71.264

Ivory; iron (later fittings)

114-117mm x 246-252mm x 124mm

Lid:
Scene 1: Attack on the Castle of Love; winged God of Love throwing arrows at knights; catapult and crossbow throwing flowers; knights in armour assaulting the castle; ladies throwing flowers from the battlements; knight climbing a ladder.
Scene 2: Tournament; ladies and youths with hawks on their wrist observing the jousting knights in armour from a balcony; two youths blowing trumpets; horses; shields.
Scene 3: Mock Tournament; lady and knight on horseback; ladies jousting with stems of flowers; men jousting with oak branches; couples watching from the castle battlements; portcullis.
Body, back:
Gawain in armour fighting the lion; Lancelot crossing the sword bridge, with spears falling from the sky; Gawain on the perilous bed; bed on wheels and with bells; lion; shield with a lion's paw; spears falling from the sky; the three maidens at the Château Merveil.
Body, front:
Aristotle teaching Alexander; Aristotle ridden by Phyllis, observed by Alexander; Fountain of Youth decorated with lion heads or monster heads; old and young; cripples with crutches; couples bathing.
End, left:
Tristan and Iseult conversing; dog on Iseult's lap; king Mark in the tree; fountain reflecting king Mark's face; Capture of the unicorn; man spearing the unicorn; maiden holding a mirror or chaplet.
End, right:
Galahad receiving the keys to the Castle of the Maidens; horse; armour.


Koechlin Number: 1281

Molinier 1890: French, 14th century.
Randall 1985, Detroit 1997 and Museum's opinion 2010: French (Paris), 1330-1350.


Reverse
Carved on all sides.
Label on the bottom summarizing the provenance of the piece in French.

Object Condition
Cracks.

Comments
The iron mounts were added when the box was in the Spitzer collection. The error of the falling spears included in the Lancelot scene is repeated in many caskets. The box was originally mounted in silver. It was in dismounted pieces when in the Douce collection in 1836 and remounted in iron when in the Spitzer collection in 1890. The Walters casket has iron attachments that published illustrations show were added between 1836 and 1906, likely while it was in the Spitzer collection. Photographs show the Walters casket once stood on four bronze feet shaped like lions which were added to the casket sometime after 1913, when it belonged to Henri Daguerre. They were removed in 1945 and are kept separately in the Walters Art Museum. Related to Koechlin 1285, Koechlin 1289, and Metropolitan Museum, 17.190.173 (Randall 1985).

Provenance
Collection of Reverend John Bowle (b. 1725, d. 1788), Wiltshire, c. 1780 when it was drawn by Carter. Gustavus Brander collection, Christchurch, Hampshire, in 1787. Collection of Francis Douce (b. 1757, d. 1824): Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick (b. 1783, d. 1848), Goodrich Court, Herefordshire, by inheritance, 1836-1848; collection of Lieutenant Colonel Augustus Meyrick, by inheritance; Frédéric Spitzer collection, Paris: sold, Chevallier and Mannheim, Paris, 17 April 1893, lot 114; Oscar Hainauer collection, Berlin, 1897 (no. 142). H. Economos collection, London, 1913. Bought by Henry Walters from Arnold Seligmann, Rey & Co. in Paris in 1923. Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.

Bibliography
J. Carter, Specimens of Ancient Sculpture, II (London, 1780), p. 49 (written by F. Grose in 1757).
S. R. Meyrick, 'The Doucean Museum', in Gentleman's Magazine (April 1836).
La Collection Spitzer (Paris, 1890), I, no. 79 (E. Molinier).
W. Bode, Die Sammlung Oscar Hainauer (Berlin, 1897), p. 142.
R. Koechlin, 'Ivoire gothiques connus antérieurement au XIXe siècle', in Revue de l'art chrétien, 59 (1911), pp. 398-399.
S. de Ricci, Album, Palais Sagan, Paris, 1913, pl. 44.
R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires gothiques français (Paris, 1924), I, p. 487; II, no. 1281; III, pl. CCXVIII and CCXIX.
R. S. Loomis, Arthurian Legends in Medieval Art, (London, 1938), pp. 60, 70, 76.
W. D. Wixom, Treasures of Medieval France, exhibition catalogue, Cleveland, The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1967, no. V-20.
R. H. Randall, Medieval Ivories in the Walters Art Gallery (Baltimore, 1969), no. 18.
V. Frühmorgen-Voss, Text und Illustration im Mittelalter (Munich, 1975), pp. 132-136.
R. H. Randall, Masterpieces of Ivory from the Walters Art Gallery (New York, 1985), no. 324.
M. Gibson, The Liverpool Ivories: late antique and medieval ivory and bone carving in Liverpool Museum and the Walker Art Gallery (London, 1994), pp. 97-98, pl. XLIb (in relation to Liverpool M 8052).
Images in Ivory. Precious Objects of the Gothic Age, ed. by Peter Barnet, exhibition catalogue, Detroit, The Detroit Institute of Arts, and Baltimore, The Walters Art Gallery, 1997, no. 64.
The Walters Art Gallery: Guide to the Collections (London, 1997), p. 46.


Image

© Laila Zamuelis Gross Archive of Secular Ivories, 1985.
Laila Zamuelis Gross Archive of Secular Ivories. 1985.

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