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Base of a reliquary

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Low rectangular base with molded edge and beveled top with attachment holes; four claw feet; and a removable bottom plate pierced with three rectangular holes and cut at the corners to fit around the feet. Top: cast in one piece, scored, hammered, chased, perforated, and gilded; fee: cast in one...

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1659 until at least 1879, church at Crègy-lès-Meaux (Seine-et-Marne), France [see note 1]. 1938, Altounian-Lorbet, Mâcon, France; September 23, 1938, sold by Altounian-Lorbet to the Brummer Gallery, New York (stock no. P15102); May 12, 1949, Brummer sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, lot 309, to Rowland Burdon-Muller, Boston and Lausanne; gift of Mr. Burdon-Muller to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 12, 1949) NOTES: [1] An inscription dated 1659 on the inner side of the plate indicates that at this date the reliquary base was given to the confraternity of St. Lawrence and Vincent at the church of Crègy. It was still at the church in 1879, when it was the subject of an article by E. Jouy, "Reliquaire de S. Laurent et S. Vincent de Crègy," Revue de l'art Chrétien 28 (1879): 95-97. Jouy suggested that the reliquary came from the treasury of the cathedral at Meaux, though this has not been proved.

Credit Line

Gift of Rowland Burdon-Muller

Central or Southwestern French, Medieval (Gothic), late 13th–14th century

Object Place



4.9 x 27.3 x 16.3 cm (1 15/16 x 10 3/4 x 6 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Gilded copper (top: 99.5% copper, .5% lead, traces of zinc and tin; feet: about 96% copper, 1.1-1.7% zinc, .8% lead, 1.7% tin)