5
5
Spanish or Italian, 14th century
PORTABLE ALTAR
JUMP TO LOT
5
Spanish or Italian, 14th century
PORTABLE ALTAR
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master Sculpture and Works of Art Including Highlights from the Reinhold Hofstätter Collection

|
London

Spanish or Italian, 14th century
PORTABLE ALTAR
veined purple marble, on a wood core with wood, bone and horn intarsia and ivory
22 by 27.5cm., 8 5/8  by 10 7/8 in.
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Catalogue Note

The present lot and the preceding one make a fascinating study in the phenomenon of the Portable Altar. In the Middle Ages many Priests were itinerant but nevertheless had to observe Communion wherever they were located. Portable Altars, which could be easily transported and stowed away during travel were an ideal solution. Many were beautifully crafted from valuable materials, see, for example, the 11th-century porphyry Portable Altar in the Cluny (inv. no. Cl. 13072). The present example is centered on a beautiful veined purple marble, offset with intarsia work reminiscent of the North Italian Embriachi workshop, but which may possibly be Spanish workmanship (see Williamson and Davies, op. cit.). The preceding Altar preserves paintwork which strongly recalls examples of Catalan Romanesque painting in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona.

RELATED LITERATURE
Musée national du Moyen Age Thermes de Cluny, Paris, 1993, p. 76, nos. 79-80; M. Bagnoli and H. Klein, Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval  Europe, exh. cat. British Museum, 2011, p. 86; P. Williamson and G. Davies, Medieval Ivory Carvings 1200-1550, cat. Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2014, pp. 749-861

Old Master Sculpture and Works of Art Including Highlights from the Reinhold Hofstätter Collection

|
London