View full screen - View 1 of Lot 12. German, Lower Saxony, circa 1400 | Ciborium .

German, Lower Saxony, circa 1400 | Ciborium

German, Lower Saxony, circa 1400 | Ciborium

German, Lower Saxony, circa 1400 | Ciborium

German, Lower Saxony, circa 1400


copper alloy, with traces of gilding

the feet associated and possibly later

31cm., 12¼in.

Overall in good condition with some surface wear and dirt consistent with age. The gilding has mostly worn, but there are remnants, particularly in the base. The lions are probably associated. There is minor warping and denting to the metal. Some dark residues in the crevices.

Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.

The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Frits Philips, Amsterdam, the Netherlands;

his sale, Sotheby's Amsterdam, 4 December 2006, lot 347

The simple and eloquent design of this ciborium relates it to the Gothic metal-work of Lower Saxony from around the year 1400. Although utilitarian in its use for storing the Eucharist, its modest amalgam of shapes establishes a visual harmony.

A spherical body, hinged, is topped by a conical finial imitating the spire of a church. A trace remnant of the former cross once surmounting the ciborium is still intact. The round stem features a central, spherical knop and is supported by a splendid hexafoil base. The few trace remnants of its original gilding, highlighting the chased grooves along its base, provide an added character to its chic styling.

The footed lions are a later addition, probably 19th century, and are intended to stabilize the ciborium while the lid is open. 

Gothic German ciboria are uncommon in the art market, with many perhaps destroyed or melted-down during the German Reformation, at which time they were banned from use after the first quarter of the 16th century.