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Reliquary Casket

A work made of gilt copper, champlevé enamel over wood core.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gilt copper, champlevé enamel over wood core.


c. 1200


French; Limoges

About this artwork

This reliquary casket, with its vibrantly colored enamel fields, is typical of the objects created at the prolific workshops in and around Limoges, France, in the Middle Ages. By the end of the 12th century, opus lemovicense (Limoges work) had gained an international reputation, and documentary sources indicate that ornamentation with enamel was considered as precious as that with gemstones. Six figures of saints appear on the front panels of the casket, while a single saint is shown standing on each end panel. This decidedly nonspecific iconography would have made the casket appropriate for any number of churches and allowed it to house the relics of virtually any saint.


On View, Gallery 236


Applied Arts of Europe


Reliquary Casket


Limoges (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Gilt copper, champlevé enamel over wood core


15.6 × 13.3 × 6.8 cm (6 1/8 × 5 1/4 × 2 11/16 in.)

Credit Line

Kate S. Buckingham Endowment

Reference Number


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