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Reliquary Casket (Châsse)

The French city of Limoges was renowned as a center of enamelwork production between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. Using a technique known as champlevé, Limoges artisans produced richly decorated liturgical objects, including containers for storing relics such as bone fragments or other remains of saints. In the champlevé process, powdered colored glass was placed in grooves carved into a metal surface. The object was then fired until the glass and metal fused. Although the imagery portrayed on Limoges reliquaries varied widely, the rectangular, gabled-roof shape of this one was common. This reliquary depicts Christ in Majesty in the center of the roof panel; he is flanked by two angels. The lower panel may show Christ with two saints, likely Peter and Paul.

France (Limoges)
Reliquary Casket (Châsse)
13th century
Champlevé enamel, wood, gilt, and copper
8 x 7 ½ x 3 5/8 in. (20.3 x 19.0 x 9.2 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 77.48