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The Apostle Simon

  • Object:

    Figure

  • Place of origin:

    Belgium (possibly, made)
    Germany (possibly, south, made)

  • Date:

    1500-1519 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, parcel-gilt

  • Museum number:

    6780-1860

  • Gallery location:

    Silver, Room 69, The Whiteley Galleries, case 26

This figure marked 'SIMION' (Simon) is one of a set of 13 depicting Christ and the Apostles. They may have come from the sides of a casket, a shrine or perhaps the sides of a private altar. Small, cast figurines are often found on church silver, decorating processional crosses, reliquaries or chalices. Similar figures can also be found as spoon finials. Each figure holds an object which identifies him, such as a pair of keys for St Peter.

Silver figures were often used in private chapels around this date. For example, the English king Henry VIII had three gold and 49 silver-gilt 'images' in the 1521 inventory of the Chapel Royal.

Physical description

The figures, representing Our Saviour and the twelve Apostles, are all cast solid and chased. They stand on square bases, with their names inscribed, and all have a Roman numeral scratched on them.

Place of Origin

Belgium (possibly, made)
Germany (possibly, south, made)

Date

1500-1519 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silver, parcel-gilt

Dimensions

Height: 4.50 cm, Length: 1.90 cm, Width: 1.80 cm

Object history note

Purchase

Old gallery label: “Although formerly attributed to an English workshop, these figures were probably made in Flanders. The spelling of the saints’ names rather than the style is a clue to that place of origin.”

Descriptive line

Church plate, Continental

Labels and date

Silver Gallery:
These figures may have come from the sides of a casket, a shrine or perhaps the sides of a private altar. Small, cast figurines are often found on church silver, decorating processional crosses, reliquaries or chalices. Similar figures can also be found as spoon finials. Each figure holds an object which identifies him such as a pair of keys for St Peter.
Silver figures were often used in private chapels around this date. For example, the English king Henry VIII had three gold and 49 silver-gilt 'images' in the 1521 inventory of the Chapel Royal. [26/11/2002]
OUR LORD AND THE TWELVE APOSTLES
Silver parcel-gilt
English; early 16th century []

Production Note

Belgium or South Germany; Maker unidentified

Categories

Christianity; Metalwork; Religion

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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