Dr Johannes Jantzen, Bad Homburg, Germany, by 1957; thence by descent to the present owner
Schloss Cappenberg, Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte Dortmund, Deutsche Bronzen des Mittelalters und der Renaissance: Medaillen und Goldschmiedearbeiten, 1960, no. 114
Roundels decorated with armorial shields, such as the present group, were mounted on splendid caskets produced in the enamelling centre of Limoges. A famous example decorated with similar appliqués is the casket in the Treasury of Aachen, which is said to have contained the charter of the town given in 1262 by Richard of Cornwall. The rampant lion depicted on the present roundels has led to the proposition that the set could hail from the Kingdom of Castile; however it is not possible to identify the precise heraldry, as the lions appear in several coats of arms. The group belongs to a set of which fifteen pieces are known in total - one in Kassel (Staatl. Kunstsammlungen, inv. no. K5.2401), two in the Museum für Kunsthandwerk in Frankfurt; four sold as part of the Thomas F. Flannery collection at Sotheby's London, 1 December 1983, lot 35; and another four also formerly in the possession of Johannes Jantzen, which were sold to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 1957 (inv. nos. 57.595-598). Together, the roundels would likely have adorned a large and finely made casket of political significance.
RELATED LITERATURE Kunst und Kunsthandwerk des Mittelalters, cat. Museum für Kunsthandwerk, Frankfurt am Main, 1966, no. 256, pl. 8; M.-M. Gauthier, Émaux du moyen âge occidental, Fribourg, 1972, p. 190, no. 136; H. Swarzenski and N. Netzer, Catalogue of Medieval Objects: Enamels and Glass, cat. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1986, no. 34
Overall the condition of the roundels is very good, with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. Each roundel is pierced with four small holes on the outer rim for mounting. There is a loss around the top right hole on one of the roundels. There is some warping to the metal around the edges. There is some wear to the gilding, notably rubbing at the high points. There are a few minor nicks and scratches, including to the enamel. There is some minor pitting to the red enamel. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."