Casket with Scenes of Romances

French1330-1350 (Medieval)

The Walters Art Museum
Baltimore, United States

This splendid casket is carved with scenes from romances and allegorical literature representing the courtly ideals of love and heroism. In the center of the lid, knights joust as ladies watch from the balcony; to the left, knights lay siege to the Castle of Love, the subject of an allegorical battle. The remaining scenes on the casket are drawn from well-known stories about Aristotle and Phyllis, Tristan and Iseult, and tales of the gallant, heroic deeds of Gawain, Galahad, and Lancelot. The box may originally have been a courtship gift.


  • Title: Casket with Scenes of Romances
  • Date Created: 1330-1350 (Medieval)
  • Physical Dimensions: w25.2 x h11.8 x d12.9 cm
  • Type: caskets;boxes
  • Rights: Acquired by Henry Walters, 1923, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
  • External Link: The Walters Art Museum
  • Medium: ivory with modern iron mounts
  • Provenance: Rev. John Bowle, Wiltshire, prior to 1757; Gustavus Brander, Christchurch, Hampshire, prior to 1787 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Francis Douce, London, prior to 1824 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, Goodrich Court, Herefordshire, prior to 1836 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Lt. Col. Augustis Meyrick, 1848, by inheritance; Frédéric Spitzer, Paris, by purchase; Sale, Paul Chevallier and Charles Mannheim, April 17, 1893, no. 114; Oscar Hainauer, Berlin, prior to 1897 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Hector Economos, Paris, prior to 1913 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Henri Daguerre, Paris, after 1913 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Arnold Seligmann, Rey and Co., Paris [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1923, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
  • Place of Origin: Paris, France
  • ExhibitionHistory: Ivory: The Sumptuous Art. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1983-1984; The Taste of Maryland: Art Collecting in Maryland 1800-1934. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984; Plants and Flowers in Medieval Manuscripts. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1991; Medieval Games of Love and War. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1995-1996; Images in Ivory: Precious Objects of the Gothic Age. The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit; The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1997; Vive la France! French Treasures from the Middle Ages to Monet. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1999-2000; The Book of Kings: Art, War, and the Morgan Library's Medieval Picture Bible. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Academy of the Arts, Easton, Easton; Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton; The Mitchell Gallery, Annapolis; Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown. 2002; Romance of the Rose: Visions of Love in Illuminated Medieval Manuscripts. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2009
  • Artist: French

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