This is the fourth catalog devoted to the Wyvern Collection, an exceptional private collection of medieval and Renaissance art. Works of art in enamel are among the most attractive, colorful, and revealing objects of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Enamel embellished a broad array of objects, including reliquary caskets, crosses, book covers, croziers, censers and pyxes for the church, and a wide range of tableware for the secular market.
Among the highlights in this volume are two extremely rare Romanesque enamels c. 1160-70 from the Meuse Valley: the reliquary triptych probably originally belonging to the Bishop of Liege, and a beautiful phylactery with scenes from the story of the True Cross, said to have come from the abbey of Lobbes. Limoges enamels of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries are particularly well represented, and the later painted enamels of Limoges, from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, include remarkable examples of the work of the principal enamelers, most notably Pierre Reymond.
This volume also includes other outstanding works of art such as an important Anglo-Carolingian chrismatory of the ninth century, a small group of enigmatic twelfth-century drinking cups, and sumptuous examples of German late medieval goldsmiths’ work. Stained and painted glass roundels, Italian Renaissance ceramics, luxurious textiles and tapestries, and German and Italian armor are also featured. An appendix presents several important pieces, recently acquired, which supplement those published in the first two volumes.
With more than 250 objects, all specially photographed, this is a beautiful addition to the collection of catalogs documenting one of the greatest private collections.
Paul Williamson is Keeper Emeritus and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art. His many books include Gothic Sculpture, 1140-1300; Medieval Ivory Carvings: Early Christian to Romanesque; and Medieval Ivory Carvings, 1200-1550.