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Madonna and Child Enthroned: MAR.M.251-1912

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Madonna and Child Enthroned


Maker: Reymond, Pierre (Workshop of)




Copper decorated in polychrome enamels and gilt. The Virgin and Child enthroned and flanked by angels, in a gilt-metal frame set with pastes, and inscribed AVE (hail)

Rectangular, slightly convex plaque with arched top. Copper, enamelled on a white ground in blue, turquoise, yellow, flesh pink, mulberry, pale brown, black, and white, with a little gilding. The surface is extremely smooth and shiny. The Virgin, Child and angels are drawn in blue, and the throne in dark brown or black, also used for cross-hatching of shaded areas.. The reverse has clear counter-enamel appearing pinkish-red from the copper beneath, and having several black spots and larger black area.

The Virgin sits on a massive throne holding the Christ Child on her left knee. She has a circular mulberry halo and pale brown hair, and wears a blue cloak over a mulberry gown. The nude Christ Child is fair-haired, and leans against his mother, grasping her cloak in his left hand.The pale brown throne has nude figures carved on the fronts of its arms, and a lozenge and formal leaf sprays in the end panels of its sides. The apsidal canopy is carved with a shell, coloured turquoise. On either side are standing angels with turquoise wings and white robes. The angel on the viewer’s right is playing a gold flute, and the one on the left holds his vertically in front of him. The blue sky behind them is scattered with gold stars, which are barely visible on the right side. The ground in front of the throne is turquoise.

The rectangular gilt-metal (brass?) frame has a central pediment surmounted by a vase and flanked by red paste gems. The pediment is set with a circular plaque enamelled in translucent red and painted in gold with a central quatrefoil flower surrounded by four foliated scrolls.. Below it the word AVE (Hail) is engraved with double lines. On each end of the top of the frame there is a matching vase. The oval aperture for the plaque is flanked at the top by two claw-set, clear table cut yellowish pastes, and at the bottom by two pale ruby pastes. There are three holes between them on each side. The plaque is held in position on the reverse by folded teeth. A removable gilded wood panel covers the back.


History note: Uncertain before the testator, Charles Brinsley Marlay (1831-1912)

Legal notes

C.B. Marlay Bequest

Place(s) associated

  • Limoges ⪼ Haute Vienne ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1912) by Marlay, Charles Brinsley


16th Century, Mid
Circa 1540 CE - 1560 CE


Representations of the Virgin enthroned with the Christ Child emphasized her exalted status as the mother of Christ, and often included adoring saints or angels. However, although it was one of the most popular images of the Virgin, it does not appear to have been represented frequently on Limoges enamels until the second quarter of the sixteenth century. On plaques of this subject made in the Reymond workshop the Virgin sits in a massive throne with projecting arms, and a tall back capped by a shell-shaped apse, a classical feature which had appeared in Italian paintings of this subject in the fifteenth century. By the early sixteenth century thrones of this type were being depicted by French artists, and by about 1520 the church of Saint-Pierre-du-Queyroix in Limoges had a stained glass window of the Coronation of the Virgin, in which God the Father and Christ sit on a similar throne while crowning the kneeling Virgin. There are at least eight closely comparable Limoges polychrome enamel plaques of this subject, each differing from the other in small details, such as the position of the Christ Child on the Virgin's knees, the details of her head and head covering, and the position of the angels. Of these two are signed PR for Pierre Reymond but not all appear to be by his hand. Three more plaques have no angels, but either candlesticks or large scrolls on the arms of the throne. Some of them were probably mounted as in pax frames, while others could have been mounted as small devotional pictures. The frame on this example was probably fitted to it in the second half of the nineteenth century. Ramon spectroscopy undertaken in December 2007 confirmed that the yellowish and ruby 'gems' set into the frame were glass pastes.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( blue, turquoise, yellow, flesh pink, mulberry, pale brown, black, and white) gold
Frame composed of gilt-metal ( possibly brass) Height 13.7 cm Width 7.9 cm
Frame Decoration composed of enamel ( red) paste ( yellow and ruby paste stones) gold
Back Of Frame composed of wood
Plaque composed of copper Height 7.7 cm Width 6.2 cm

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: AVE
  • Location: On frame below plaque at the top
  • Method of creation: Engraved in double lines
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MAR.M.251-1912
Primary reference Number: 156446
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 1 March 2024 Last processed: Tuesday 5 March 2024

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Madonna and Child Enthroned" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-22 23:24:17

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