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Creator Name: Unknown
Creator Nationality: European; French
Creator Dates/Places: Limoges
Creator Active Place: Limoges
Creator Name-CRT: Limoges
View: Principal view
Creation Start Date: 1200
Creation End Date: 1220
Creation Date: ca. 1200?1220
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Materials and Techniques: Copper: engraved, chased, and gilt; champlevé enamel: lapis and lavender blue, turquoise, light and dark green, red, and white
Dimensions: 3 7/8 [3 5/8 without feet] x 5 5/8 x 3 3/4 in. (9.9 [8.6] x 14.2 x 9.6 cm)
Description: This small enamel box ornamented with busts of angels was probably once used to hold small receptacles of chrism (consecrated oil), oil for catechumens, and oil for exorcists. Annointing with holy oils during baptism is mentioned by the first Christian writers, notably Tertullian and Hippolytus of Rome. Blessed by the bishop on Holy Thursday, the oils were also used for other sacraments during the Middle Ages?chiefly the confirmation and ordination of priests, as well as the consecration of churches. It seems that for a long time, holy oils were kept in separate vials (known in Latin as ampullae, phyala, or vasa), usually made of silver. However, few individual vials or boxes to contain them have come down to us.
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York
ID Number: 17.190.853
Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Copyright: Copyright ? 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.
AMICA ID: MMA_.17.190.853
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright (c) 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All Rights Reserved
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