Text and Image : Jewelled binding

Text and Image

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Twelfth century jewelled binding: four repoussé medallions with half-length figures of Virtues; thirty-two stones, including eight crystals; central ivory of the crucifixion. The gilded silver plaque which decorates the binding, came from the shrine of Héribert at Deutz, having been removed form the shrine when it was being restored at Kempen in 1858.</p><p><b>Medallions</b></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Four repoussé medallions with half-length figures of Virtues(?). Top: with a floriated sceptre; left: hands extended as if arguing or pleading; right: disk with cross and floriated sceptre; bottom: plain disk and book.</p><p><b>Stones</b></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Four large crystals on the angles, four smaller ones above and below the lateral medallions. The upper and lower medallions and each of the four smaller crystals, is surrounded by four coloured stones engraved or plain; in all twenty-four, making a total of thirty-two stones, including the crystals. </p><p><b>Upper border</b></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>1. Red stone: pelican in her piety, facing right, probably not a pelican, but a bird of prey? 2. Red: tree in centre, bird looking up on left, lion rampant on the right. 3. Blue green: Perseus face left, drapery over right arm. holding out the Gorgon's head, below which is a small Pegasus (springing from its blood); the herpé in his left hand; an oval object (the shield mirror? ) behind him. 4. Red: translucent, facetted. </p><p><b>Upper set of four</b></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>1. White carnelian? Heracles lifting Antaeus. 2. White opaque stone: seated man, facing left playing a lyre; dog on left, rough work. 3. Green, obscured by the setting. Draped figure holding out something in the right hand. 4. Red translucent, Head of Hermes, bare facing left, caduceus behind. </p><p><b>Lower set of four</b></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>1. Onyx: white field cut to show black; 2. very roughly cut figure in petasus? facing right. 3. Carnelian(?) nude youth facing right, touching or placing a round object on a short column. 4. White: hand holding a sort of trophy composed of a fruit or ear of corn; two drinking-horns with covers. a sistrum(?) between them; rough. </p><p><b>Lower border</b></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>1. Red: clear facetted stone. 2. Green. Heracles, bearded with a club seated on a rock, facing right, holds one of Hydra's heads(?) over a brazier; two more serpent heads seen over his forearm. This seems the best of the gems in execution. 3. Red opaque: Hermes facing right, drapery over his right shoulder, Caduceus held behinds him. 4. White: Altlas on one knee supporting the globe.</p><p><b>Upper set of four</b></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>1. Brown: bust with filleted head, beardless facing left. 2. Purple clear stone: Plain. 3. Carnelian?: bird, spray of leaves below, rough. 4. Black cameo: beardless head with laurel wreath facing right.</p><p><b>Lower set of four</b></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>1. Carnelian?: woman reclining with her head to the left on a four legged couch holding an <i>aplustre</i>(?); rough. 2. Dark: draped figure facing left holding a cornu copiae and <i>aplustre</i>. 3. Cameo, white on black: bust of a young girl facing left, fair. 4. Red opaque: nude figure leaning on a long staff, facing right and holding out a purse; foliage or ornament surrounds it.</p><p><b>Central Ivory</b></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The Crucifixion. There is a suppedaneum: four nails are used. The numbus has a sort of trefoil incised on it. The Virgin left, her left hand holding her wrist, some cusping within the ring of the numbus. St John left, hand holding right wrist; a book supported against his breast by the right hand, cusped nimbus. Below the suppedaneum a small nude figure (Adam) in a tomb, beginning to rise. A wavy ground is below the feet of the figures, and below this a representation of flames. </p>

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