Gold and silver work



Catalonia (?)
13th century
Copper cast, engraved and fretted and champlevé enamelling
28 x 19 x 6 cm
Provenance unknown
MEV 8032

The pastoral crosier, the sign of the ecclesiastical authority of bishops, abbots and abbesses, was introduced as a liturgical object in about the 5th century but it was not until the 11th century that the type, of Germanic tradition and Hebrew roots, was generalised, comprising a long staff with the top end curved like a snake's body and which is articulated, structurally, with the insertion of a knot between the staff and the top curvature, or volute. The crosier in the Museu Episcopal de Vic belongs to the southern sequence of the 13th-century objects from the workshops of Limoges, in Aquitaine, and corresponds to the afore-mentioned Romanesque typology of the curled-up snake which, now, adorns its body with blue enamelled rhombuses, having on the knot a fretted motif of intertwining lizards and on the incomplete volute, the reptile's head. Due to its technical and ornamental peculiarities this crosier could be an example of Catalan manufacture in the manner of Limoges, in which we could also include the crosier of Arnau de Gurb (Barcelona Cathedral Treasury) and the one from the Benedictine abbey of Sant Genís de Fontanes (Sacred Art Centre, Ille-sur-Têt, Roussillon).

18 Leather
19 Gold, Silver and Metalworking Arts
20 Forge Work
21 Ceramics
22 Study Galleries