Since the beginning of lock-down, Sam Fogg has been giving Medieval Art enthusiasts a glimpse into their expansive collection with their Object of the Week series. The wonderful team at Sam Fogg present a different fascinating object every Friday. You can check out the series over on their website, twitter and instragram! Here are a few of our favourite ones:
A Bronze Bell inscribed with the Ave Maria, last quarter of the 15th century, Austria
This slender bell was likely cast in a Viennese foundry at some point in the late fifteenth century. It is delicately ornamented, including the unusual addition of human faces with their striking silhouettes at the top of the bell. It is exceptionally rare to find such ornament on surviving medieval bells. You can hear more about this fascinating object in Sam Fogg’s video.
Cardinal John Fisher (1469-1535), Bishop of Rochester, c. 1540, Northern Netherlands
This small portrait depicts Cardinal John Fisher who was executed for opposing King Henry VIII. It is believed to be the earliest surviving painted likeness of John Fisher. As part of the series, Sam Fogg has created a video where you can learn all about this exquisite painting.
The Head of the Christ Child, from a Sedes Sapientiae Group, c. 1220, Meuse Valley
This diminutively proportioned head of the infant Christ carved with wide, almond-shaped eyes, a strong nasal ridge, and a subtle smile with delicately separated lips, combines two art forms: sculpture and goldsmiths’ work. The synthesis of these two mediums reached its height in Europe during the early thirteenth century, and this miraculous survival encapsulates them both perfectly. Check out their video all about it here.
A Gable Plaque from a Reliquary Chasse showing an Apostle, c. 1190
This vividly enamelled plaque of an Apostle was originally part of a gable end of a reliquary chasse. The demand for such lavish reliquaries in the Middle Ages was generated by the cult of relics and encouraged by pilgrimages, which gained momentum in the 12th century. The plaque has been attributed to a circle of goldsmiths known by the provisional name ‘Chapitre workshop’, active by around 1180 in Limoges.