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Two Crowned Martyrs: M.31-1904

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 32 (Rothschild)


Two Crowned Martyrs


Workshop: Unknown




Plaque from the gable end of a reliquary. Copper, champlevé, engraved, enamelled, in two shades of blue, green, red, and white, and gilt. Pentagonal with ten small circular holes situated at each corner and half-way along each side. Two crowned maryrs wearing long gowns, and each holding a palms in his left hand, are seated on a cross-hatched plank surrounded by scrolling stems bearing leaves, and between the figures, two cones, reserved in a blue ground. Under their feet is a gilt band bearing the inscription EXVLTABVNT: DÑO OSSA: HVMILIATA (The humiliated bones shall rejoice in the Lord) . Below it is a wavy band over two skewed rectangular coffins containing bones, and at the bottom of the plaque, diagonal wavy lines representing water.


History note: Louis-Fidel Debruge-Duménil (1788-1838), Paris; sold Paris, Bonnefons de Lavialle, commissaire-priseur, 23 January - 9 February and 4-12 March, 1850, Catalogue des objets d’art qui composent la collection Debruge Duménil, p. 75, lot 81; Lord Hastings; Christie, Manson & Woods, 20 March 1888, Catalogue of majolica, Palissy ware, German stoneware, Limoges enamels, the property of The Right Hon. Lord Hastings of Melton Con¬stable, Norfolk, ADD; Frank McClean, Tunbridge Wells

Legal notes

Frank McClean Bequest

Place(s) associated

  • Limoges ⪼ Haute-Vienne ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1904) by McClean, Frank


13th Century, Early
Circa 1200 CE - Circa 1210 CE


Limoges champlevé enamels were made by gouging out a shallow recess in a hammered copper plate, which was filled with powdered glass. When heated this fused to become level with the divisions formed by the edges of the ‘fields’. The surface was then polished. The resulting images have bold linear modelling, and jewel-like colours. Early examples had gilded backgrounds, but by the thirteenth century blue predominated. The hands, feet and faces of figures were sometimes made separately, and were attached by means of rivets.

The matching gable end, formerly in the Keir Collection, is in the Thomson Collection in the Art Gallery of Ontario, in Toronto (2003/1325). It has an inscription from Psalm 33: 21: CVSTODIT D[OMI]N[V]S OMIA OSSA S[AN]C[T]OR[VM] The Lord keeps all the bones of the saints.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( two shades of blue, green, red, and white) gold
Plaque composed of copper
At Apex Height 24 cm
At Widest Width 17.7 cm

Inscription or legends present

  • Location: On front below figures
  • Method of creation: Engraved
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.31-1904
Primary reference Number: 118316
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 10 January 2023 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Two Crowned Martyrs" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-21 01:38:07

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