Two semi-circular copper alloy plaques with enamel and gilding; one plaque with two censing angels emerging from clouds, inscribed border; second plaque with a kneeling tonsured figure with crozier presenting a portable altar.
The plaques are semicircular, 'dished' with a flat rim. Backs: There are marks left by two clamps on the back of each, at the rim and a circular piece of brass in the centre. They were not original. No other features on the backs. Fronts: Virtually all the gilding has been lost and there is some damage to the enamel, particularly on the second plaque. Verse inscriptions in two lines (each line either two hexameters or an elegiac couplet) are engraved radially within the flat rim (18 mm wide). The rim has a recessed beaded border, executed with a tool with a hollow circular tip about 1 mm wide, with five small regular pinholes through the beading and two along the straight edge for attachment to a wooden core. Later pinholes through the extremities of the inscriptions and a plugged pinhole near the concave centre of each plaque are related to the later rivets and circular foot of the plate. The letters were originally filled with deep blue enamel. In the concave semicircular fields:
Plaque (1): two half-length censing angels, emerging from clouds. They are censing something beneath them, so that this plaque was originally set at the top of an object. They swing the censers in their extended right hands, and the three chains and the censers themselves overlap each other to form a cross pattern. The left angel holds a bowl (perhaps a chalice) in his left hand, the right angel has his left hand outstretched. The heads are delicately engraved and reserved, the drawing of the features and hair filled with dark blue enamel. The draperies are deep blue/ pale blue/blue-white, deep blue/turquoise/pale green and deep blue/deep green/pale green, and similar combinations are found in the bands of the stylised clouds in the upper corners and on some of the wing-feathers of the angels. Opaque red is also used in the clouds and a deep translucent red is found not only in the clouds but also on areas of the wings. Two brighter wing areas are of turquoise/white and of green/white. The censers, which have two distinctive designs - the left one with a turreted top, the right one with fluted sides - use opaque colours, not in mixed fields: (left) opaque red, yellow, white, turquoise and deep blue; (right) opaque red and white; and their triple chains contrast (deep blue for the red and white censer on the right, red for the multi-coloured censer on the left). The left angel's chalice(?) is of opaque red with yellow, which adds a bright accent in the upper left area of the plaque. The two haloes are both given a row of dappled yellow dots, but one (on the left) is deep translucent red, the other deep blue. Damaged areas of enamel (in the clouds, on the wings and in the red halo) have been restored with a resinous inlay.
Plaque (2): The semi-recumbent figure of Bishop Henry (HENRICVS . EPISCOP(VS)) in blue enamel at bottom right) is in the traditional pose of a donor at the foot of, or below to the left of, an object: he is tonsured, as befits a Cluniac monk and his delicately hatched and engraved features and hair are filled with blue enamel. His full-length tunic is of deep blue/pale blue/blue-white, its interior being in deep translucent red where it shows near his feet; over it he wears a mantle of deep blue/deep green/pale green/yellow, and his shoes are of turquoise. Henry's right cuff is reserved and engraved with a scalloped pattern filled with red enamel and with a deep blue interior to the cuff. A chain of three linked ovals falls to the left of this cuff; the chain is reserved and filled with blue. Within the mantle Henry wears a tight-fitting sleeve of deep translucent red. He holds a crosier with a shaft of the same deep red and a turquoise crook. With the same hand and also with his right hand he supports as if on his left shoulder a big rectangular object: its surface is divided into three turquoise ovals by a reserved studded border filled with red enamel, the ovals linked to each other and to the edges by little roundels and half roundels; between the ovals are spandrels of deep translucent red, and the whole rectangle has an enamelled frame of deep blue within pale blue within white. Restoration with a resinous inlay has been made to the extremity of Henry's right foot, and to part of the top oval and border of the rectangular object carried by Henry.
- G40 Medieval Gallery
- Authority (?)
- Henry of Blois
- Made Of
- enamel, gold, copper alloy
- Type of Thing
- Exhibition History
2012 26 Feb-28 May, Germany, Münster, Domkammer der Kathedralkirche St Paulus, Goldene Pracht: Mittelalterliche Schatzkunst in Westfalen.
2010 13 Jul-29 Dec, France, Cluny, Cluny Abbey, Cluny et Europe
1985 7 Mar-9 Jun, Germany, Cologne, Museum Schnütgen, Ornamenta Ecclesiae: Romanesque Art and Artists in Cologne
1984 5 Apr-8 Jul, London, Hayward Gallery, English Romanesque Art 1066- 1200
1850, London, House of the Society of Arts, Works of Ancient and Mediaeval Art
- cleric, angel
- engraved, gilded, enamelled
We failed to find metadata for the fields listed below. It's very likely the British Museum RDF record contains the answer.
(You can click on these, but the ones with "_" in them don't work as facets. You'll see a blank page. We'll fix that at some point.)
About the Works Of
By Ethnic Group
Found, Excavated, Collected By
Likely / Unlikely (?)
Code / Data
View JSON /
Download RDF /
View RDF (web view) /
Search British Museum website for object