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Details & Cataloguing

European Sculpture & Works of Art

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Anglo Norman, circa 1400
A LEATHER GILT COPPER AND BRONZE MOUNTED CASKET
the wood carcase overlaid with leather incised with alternating incised panels, punched straps, the front with crocketted arches and applied with a crowned female head and an eagle devouring a hare, the lid with a wildman astride a lion, hinged hasp over square lockplate, the lid with carrying handle
23.5 by 8.4 by 9.5cm., 9¼ by 3¼ by 3¾in.
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Provenance

Sotheby's London, 7th december 1995, lot 11

Catalogue Note

In shape, this casket follows an earlier French style as can be seen in the gilt copper mounted ivory caskets of the fourteenth century. Indeed a casket in the Victoria and Albert Museum London, labelled French circa 1400 of wood covered with copper gilt sheeting, has the same crowned head of a queen and similar zoomorphic handle (Bernal Collection -Museum no. 2168-1855). Cuir Ciselé caskets of this shape were indeed known to have been made in Northern France and Flanders but Cherry (1982 op.cit.) records no less than twelve leather-covered caskets of the late fourteenth to fifteenth century originating in England. What is significant in the present casket is the presence of copper alloy, originally gilt, appliqués which serve to embellish the lightly incised leather ground. In England the use of Livery badges was widespread from the reign of Edward III (1327-77) to the early sixteenth century and these appliqués may well have originated from the same workshops. Most badges were made in a lead alloy but numerous examples are also recorded in copper and even silver-gilt. The Gothic Art exhibition catalogue records that no less than thirteen thousand of the Boar Badge of Richard III were ordered for distribution to followers. The badges were applied to costume as well as harness mounts.

RELATED LITERATURE
Cherry (1991), pp.295-318; Cherry (1982), pp.131-140; Age Of Chivalry; Gothic Art For England 1400-1547, cat. no.68d; Mitchener, nos. 706-716

European Sculpture & Works of Art

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London