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Pyx: M.12-1938

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 32 (Rothschild)


Maker: uncertain




Copper, champlevé, engraved, enamelled, and gilt.

Copper, champlevé, engraved, enamelled in mid-blue, turquoise green, yellow, and a little red enamel, and gilt. Cylindrical with a gilded cupola inside the lower part, and a conical cover surmounted by a replacement flat cross. The outside is decorated with four four medallions each containing a half-length angel with halo raising out of clouds, reserved in the metal. On the cover there are four similar medallions with angels, and between them trefoil and triangular designs in wavy bands of differing colours.


History note: Uncertain before testator

Legal notes

L.D. Cunliffe Bequest, 1937

Measurements and weight

Height: 9.5 cm
Height: 3½ in
Width: 8 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Limoges ⪼ Haute Vienne ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1937) by Cunliffe, Leonard Daneham


13th Century
Circa 1200 CE - 1300 CE


A pyx (from Latin pyxis, a box), is a container for the Euchar¬istic bread or Host (Latin hostia, a victim or sacri¬fice). By the thirteenth century two pyxes were considered necessary for each church: one to hold the unconsacrated wafers, and the other to hold the consecrated wafers. Numerous champlevé enamel pyxes have survived which suggests that they were among the most frequently commissioned liturgical objects. Foliated scrolls and busts of angels in were one of the most common types of decoration. The popularity of angels may be related to a reference to the Host as the ‘bread of angels’ (panis angelorum) by Saint Augustine (354-430), and later by medieval theologians.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Hinge Plaque composed of iron ( tested with magnet)
Decoration composed of enamel gold
Base Diameter 6.8 cm Diameter 2⅝ in
Drum Only Height 1¼ in

Materials used in production


References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.12-1938
Primary reference Number: 139828
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 2 February 2021 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Pyx" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-20 03:33:58

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{{cite web|url= |title=Pyx |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-20 03:33:58|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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