Collection Online
Reliquary casket
enamel (champlevé) on copper, gilt-copper, wood
24.2 × 22.3 × 11.3 cm
Place/s of Execution
Limoges, France
Accession Number
International Decorative Arts
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1936
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
14th - 16th Century Gallery - Painting & Decorative Arts
Level 1, NGV International
In the Middle Ages, Limoges was the centre of large-scale manufacturing of enamelled objects, particularly reliquaries (containers to hold the relics of saints), crosses, candlesticks and wares for ecclesiastical and domestic use. These enamels were widely exported across Europe. The enamels were made of ground glass laid into an engraved copper surface and fired at great heat. The form of this casket – a miniature stylised church, with pointed gables at each end and a steep roof – was popular for these reliquaries and its decoration, images of Christ in Majesty surrounded by Apostles, sufficiently general to suit a broad clientele.