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Casket (coffret) (Lid)

Casket (coffret) (Lid)
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End, left

End, right


End, right


End, left

Body, back

Secular. Courtly love. Romance.

Repository Institution

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Boston, Museum of Fine Arts


Ivory;silver (original fittings);niello

Height: 61mm
Width: 109mm
Depth: 84mm

Meeting of lovers (courting couples); lady chucking her lover under the chin. Youth kneeling before a lady who places a helm over his head. Offering of the heart. Couple embracing; youth lifting the dress of a lady.
Body, fron
tMeeting of lovers (courting couples); lady chucking her lover under the chin. Youth and lady holding the lock; large rose. Lady crowning her kneeling lover with a chaplet.
End, right
Tristan and Iseult conversing; king Mark in the tree; fountain reflecting king Mark's face. Couple playing chess; lady holding two chess pieces in her left hand; tree.
Body, back
Courting couple (meeting of lovers); couple conversing. Lady crowning her kneeling lover with a chaplet. Youth chucking his lover under the chin; youth with a hawk on his wrist. Lady chucking her lover under the chin; lady on a staircase.
End, left
Courting couple (meeting of lovers); offering of a flower; youth holding a pair of gloves. Lady crowning her kneeling lover with a chaplet; lady on a staircase.
Pointed trefoils in the spandrels.

Calkins 1968: English, 14th century.
Ann Arbor 1976: English or French, 14th century (c. 1300-1340), in the style of the Parisian Master of the Death of the Virgin.
Randall 1993: English, 1340-1360.
Museum's opinion 2011: North French, 14th century.

Style of the Master of the Death of the Virgin (Ann Arbor 1976).

Carved on all sides.

Object Condition
Two deep vertical cracks in the left end panel.

The silver fittings have incised decoration.

Said to have belonged to John Talbot (b. c. 1384-1390, d. 1453), 1st Earl of Shrewsbury; Collection of his son John, earl of Shrewsbury, and descendants (to the twentieth century). Bought by the Museum from Premsela and Hamburger, Amsterdam, in 1964 (Theodore Wilbour Fund in memory of Charlotte Beebe Wilbour).

R. G. Calkins, A Medieval Treasury: An Exhibition of Medieval Art from the Third to the Sixteenth Century, exhibition catalogue, White Museum of Art, Cornell University and M. W. Proctor Institute, Utica, 1968, no. 79.
Images of Love and Death in Renaissance and Late Medieval Art, exhibition catalogue, ed. by W. R. Levin, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan, November 1975-January 1976, no. 64, pl. IV.
Songs of Glory, exhibition catalogue, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Museum of Art, 1985, no. 80.
R. H. Randall, The Golden Age of Ivory: Gothic Ivory Carvings in North American Collections (New York, 1993), no. 190.
M. Gibson, The Liverpool Ivories: late antique and medieval ivory and bone carving in Liverpool Museum and the Walker Art Gallery (London, 1994), p. 99.
J. Warren, Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, 3 vols (Oxford, 2014), Vol. 2: Sculptures in Stone, Clay, Ivory, Bone and Wood, p. 566, in relation to no. 163.


Photograph © 15 July 2012 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Credit Line: Theodora Wilbour Fund in memory of Charlotte Beebe Wilbour.

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