Tabernacle of Cherves

Date: ca. 1220–1230

Geography: Made in Limoges, France

Culture: French

Medium: Copper (plaques): engraved, scraped, stippled, and gilt; (appliqués): repoussé, chased, engraved, scraped, and gilt; champlevé enamel: medium blue, turquoise, medium green, yellow, red, and white, modern wood mount

Dimensions: Closed: 33 × 19 3/4 × 10 3/4 in., 90 lb. (83.8 × 50.2 × 27.3 cm, 40.8 kg)
Open: 33 in. × 37 3/4 in. × 10 3/4 in. (83.8 × 95.9 × 27.3 cm)
Other (Proper right wing): 27 3/8 × 9 1/2 in. (69.5 × 24.1 cm)
Other (Proper left wing): 27 1/8 × 9 3/8 in. (68.9 × 23.8 cm)

Classification: Enamels-Champlevé

Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Accession Number: 17.190.735

Description

This tabernacle is the most celebrated of the objects found at Cherves in 1896, near the site of a ruined priory of the Grandmont order at Gandory. The accomplished openwork medallions depict events following the Crucifixion, including the Holy Women at the tomb on Easter Sunday (center left) and the Doubting Thomas (upper right). With their strong emphasis on the physical Christ, these scenes are most appropriate for this cupboard, which was used for storing the bread of the Eucharist. It is one of the two tabernacles of Limoges work to survive.

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