Diptych with Scenes of the Annunciation, Nativity, Crucifixion, and Resurrection

Date: 1300–1325

Geography: Made in probably Cologne, Germany

Culture: German

Medium: Silver gilt with translucent and opaque enamels

Dimensions: Overall (opened): 2 3/8 x 3 3/8 x 5/16 in. (6.1 x 8.6 x 0.8 cm)
Overall (Closed): 2 3/8 x 1 3/4 x 1/2 in. (6.1 x 4.5 x 1.2 cm)

Classification: Enamels-Translucent

Credit Line: Gift of Ruth Blumka, 1980

Accession Number: 1980.366


An outstanding example of Gothic goldsmith work and enameling, this small diptych achieves a gemlike quality through its accomplished technique and graceful style. The outer scenes of the Crucifixion and Resurrection are executed in translucent enamel with details in opaque enamel, while the inner scenes of the Annunciation and Nativity are in the form of cast reliefs.

The hinges allow the wings to be closed; thus this small precious object could be kept in a silk or leather pouch and reopened when needed. Illustrating the principal scenes of Christ's Incarnation and Passion, it provided a fitting focus for the devotions of its wealthy owner.