National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Reliquary Châsse French 12th Century (artist)
Reliquary Châsse, c. 1175/1180
champlevé enamel on gilded copper with oak core
overall: 19.1 x 26.7 x 11.5 cm (7 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 4 1/2 in.)
Widener Collection
On View
From the Tour: Medieval Metalwork and Enamels
Object 3 of 8


Thomas Gambier Parry [1816-1888], Highnam Court, Gloucestershire, by 1862;[1] Hubert Parry, 1888-1918; Ernest Gambier-Parry, 1918-1920; sold July 1920 to (Durlacher Brothers, London [?]);[2] sold 1922 to Joseph E. Widener, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania; inheritance from Estate of Peter A.B. Widener by gift through power of appointment of Joseph E. Widener, after purchase by funds of the Estate; gift 1942 to NGA.

[1] Pierre-Édouard Wagner, in his exhibition catalogue entry (Le chemin des reliques: Témoignages précieux et ordinaries de la vie religieuse à Metz au Moyen Age, exh. cat., Musées de la Cour d'Or, Metz, 2000: no. 11, 31-33, repro.), discusses the documentation he discovered that probably places the châsse at the Abby Saint-Arnoul in Metz, France, in the 18th century.

The châsse was listed as lent by Gambier Parry in the Catalogue of the Special Exhibition of Works of Art of the Medieval, Renaissance, and More Recent Periods on Loan at the South Kensington Museum, June, 1862, ed. John Charles Robinson, (London, 1862, rev. ed. 1863), 73, no. 1072. On the artist and collector Thomas Gambier Parry [1816-1888] see "A Great Victorian," and Blunt, Anthony, "The History of Thomas Gambier Parry's Collection," Burlington Magazine 109 (March 1967), 111-112 and 115-116. Blunt indicates that the châsse is listed in an inventory, but it is not certain from his language whether this was dated 1860 or 1875.

[2] See Blunt 1967, 115-116, for the provenance after Gambier-Parry's death; the date of purchase by Widener is recorded in NGA curatorial files. Consultation of the Gambier Parry papers that Blunt examined in 1967 at Highnam (then belonging to Thomas Fenton), may eventually provide further clues to the earlier ownership.

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