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Front panel (fragment of a casket; coffret) (Front)

Front panel (fragment of a casket; coffret) (Front)
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Secular. Courtly love.

Repository Institution

Cleveland, The Cleveland Museum of Art



Height: 98mm
Width: 259mm
Depth: 10mm

Scene 1: Fountain of Youth; courting couples bathing (meeting of lovers); older couples on the battlements.
Scene 2: Capture of the unicorn; man spearing the unicorn; maiden holding a mirror or a chaplet.
Scene 3: God of Love aiming his bow and arrow (arrow tipped with a rose) at two figures (a couple?) in a tower supported on the back of an elephant (elephant and castle).

Koechlin Number: 1288

Koechlin 1924: France, 1st half of the 14th century.
Museum's opinion 2010: French (Lorraine?), c. 1330-1350.


Object Condition
Missing: lower left corner and part of the border on the right. Square of 40x40mm where the lock once was. The three columns have been re-carved and pigmented to match the rest of the panel. Twenty-two drilled holes, none of which have been filled with an ivory-like material.

Trivulzio collection, Milan (before 1897). Collection of Robert von Hirsch, Frankfurt-am-Main (until 1933) and Basel: sold, Sotheby's, Parke Bernet, London, 22 June 1978, lot 290; bought by the museum thanks to the John L. Severance Fund.

C. T. Gatty, Catalogue of Mediaeval and Later Antiquities contained in the Mayer Museum (Liverpool, 1883), p. 23, no. 67, pl. XI.
R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires gothiques français (Paris, 1924), II, no. 1288.
W. Hugelshofer, 'Aus Einer Basler Privatsammlung', in DU 12 (1951), p. 58, repr. pp. 52-53.
W. D. Wixom, 'Eleven Additions to the Medieval Collection', in Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art (1979), pp. 86-151 (pp. 110-126).
Deutsche Literatur im Mittelalter: Kontakte und Perspektiven. Hugo Kuhn zum Gedenken, ed. by C. Cormeau (Stuttgart, 1979), pp. 494-495, fig. 28.
'The Year in Review 1978', in Cleveland Museum of Art Bulletin (1979), pp. 11, 42
E. W. Kleinbauer, 'Recent Major Acquisitions of Medieval Art by American Museums', in Gesta 19/1 (1980), pp. 71-72.
B. A. Kathman, A Cleveland Bestiary, exhibition catalogue, Cleveland Museum of Art, 1981, no. 6, pp. 2, 12-13.
R. Martin Nagy, Textiles in the Daily Life of the Middle Ages, exhibition catalogue, Cleveland Museum of Art, 1985, no. 24, pp. 47-48 and 60.
Ivory: An International History and Illustrated Survey (New York, 1987), p. 106.
Survival of the Gods: Classical Mythology in Medieval Art, exhibition catalogue, Providence, Rhode Island, Brown University Bell Gallery, 1987, no. 20, pp. 64-65.
M. Gibson, The Liverpool Ivories: late antique and medieval ivory and bone carving in Liverpool Museum and the Walker Art Gallery (London, 1994), p. 98.
H. A. Klein, S. N. Fliegel, V. Brilliant, Sacred Gifts and Worldly Treasures: Medieval Masterworks from the Cleveland Museum of Art, exhibition catalogue, Cleveland Museum of Art, 2007, no. 67, pp. 188-189.
S. N. Fliegel, Arms and Armor (Cleveland, 2007), p. 68.
P. Williamson and G. Davies, Medieval Ivory Carvings 1200-1550 (London, 2014), in relation to no. 227.


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