Friday, 25 September 2015

Reliquaries/Châsses of St. Thomas Becket

Some of the numerous extant Becket reliquary châsses made at Limoges in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries:


Centre de la Culture du Limousin Médiéval [Facebook]

Musée National du Moyen Âge [formerly Musée de Cluny], Paris

Musée Municipal de l'Évêché, Limoges

Châsse de Thomas Becket Vers 1200. H : 12,9 ; La : 12,5 ; Pr : 6,6. Limoges, musée municipal de l'Evêché [inv. 90.458] Achat, 1990 (B. Blondeel et P. Carlier).

thomas1 archived

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Guéret (Creuse)

Châsse de Thomas Becket Vers 1205-1215. H. 13 ; L. 12,3 ; La 6,7. Guéret, musée des Beaux-Arts [Inv. OA 4] Lieu de provenance inconnu.

thomas2 archived

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon

Musée du Louvre, Paris
N° d’Inventaire OA11333
Châsse : Assassinat et Ensevelissement de saint Thomas Becket
N° d’Inventaire OA 7745

Musée d'art Roger-Quilliot, Clermont-Ferrand

Cathédrale de Sens

Le Vigéan, AuvergneChâsse de Thomas Becket


Agnani Cathedral Museum
Reliquary of Thomas Becket. Copper and enamel, 13th century. Museo della Cattedrale di Anagni, Anagni, Italy


Museo della Cattedrale di Lucca 


Museum Schnütgen (St. Cäcilien), Köln:


Martyrdom of Thomas Becket on reliquary in Trönö new church, Hälsingland
[Rescued from a major fire]

Trönö Reliquary

United Kingdom

Burrell Collection Glasgow

CHASSE DEPICTING THE MURDER OF THOMAS BECKET French. Limoges, c. 1200-1210 Copper with champleve ... Hunt; 1934, bt William Burrell, £125; given by Sir William and Constance, Lady Burrell to Glasgow Corporation in 1944

Victoria and Albert Museum,

British Museum

Loaned from Society of Antiquaries, London

One of the numerous Becket reliquary châsses made at Limoges in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries on loan from the Society of Antiquaries for London.

British Museum number 1878,1101.3 - Archived  


Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College

87 North Main Street, Oberlin OH 44074
Glencairn Museum Pennsylvania

A Newly Discovered Reliquary of St. Thomas Becket
Thomas P. F. Hoving
Vol. 4 (Spring, 1965), pp. 28-30
The University of Chicago Press
International Center of Medieval Art

The Dormeuil Collection Auction in Paris, 19th Nov 2007

Lot 9: Limoges, Circa 1200-1210 A Gilt Copper Champleve Chasse With The Martyrdom Of St. Thomas Becket.
Sculptures, Works of Art
by Sotheby's London, July 9, 2002

A gilt copper champleve enamel châsse with the martyrdom of st. thomas becket, Limoges, circa 1200-1210 lot Sotheby's

Mr Thomas Astles Reliquary - from Vetusta Monumenta 1789

The Front View of Mr Thomas Astles Reliquary/ 1789

The Back View of Mr Astles Reliquary/ 1789

From an early owner of the Becket casket present location not known.
Antique engraving from Vetusta Monumenta a series of illustrated antiquarian papers on ancient buildings, sites, and artefacts, mostly of Britain, published at irregular intervals between 1718 and 1906 by the Society of Antiquaries of London. Folio sized papers, usually authored by members of the society, published individually, then later in volumes, Drawn by Jacob Schnebbelie (1760–1792) an English draughtsman, specialising in monuments and historical subjects. Schnebbelie was born in Duke's Court, St. Martin's Lane, London, on 30 Aug. 1760 Through Lord Leicester, the president, Schnebbelie obtained appointment as draughtsman to the Society of Antiquaries of London; the majority of the second and third volumes of Vetusta Monumenta were drawn by him.. These prints were engraved by James Basire. This was also engraved by J carter Images 45 x 30 cm Single page E arly and accurate architectural studies at affordable prices £95 PAIR post inclusive ( rolled as too large to send flat unless a number are needed)


Treasures of Heaven. - YouTube Andrew Graham-Dixon BBC

Andrew Graham-Dixon explores the ancient Christian practice of preserving holy relics and the largely forgotten art form that went with it, the reliquary.

Chasses de saint Thomas Becket - Wikipédia

Bits of Becket - Paradox Place

Émail de Limoges - Wikipédia

Narrative Art - PhD Thesis

Musée du Louvre; Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.) (1996). Enamels of Limoges: 1100-1350. Metropolitan Museum of Art. pp. 162–. ISBN 978-0-87099-758-7.

Les châsses reliquaires de Thomas Becket émaillées à Limoges: leur géographie historique. Societe archeologique et historique du Limousin. 1993.

Martine Yvernault. " Reading History in Enamel : The Journey of Thomas Becket's Experience from Canterbury to Limoges ", communication présentée lors du colloque organisé par le G.R.I.C. (Groupe de Recherche Identités et Cultures), " Canterbury : a Medieval City ", University du Havre, 12-13 mars 2009, in 

Catherine Royer-Hemet (2010). Canterbury: A Medieval City. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 137–. ISBN 978-1-4438-2608-2.

Cathedrals of southern France p. 111 

S. Caudron, "Les châsses reliquaires de Thomas Becket émaillées à Limoges", dans Bulletin de la Société archéologique et historique du Limousin, CXXI, 1993

Actes Du Colloque International de Sedieres. Editions Beauchesne. pp. 233–.

Britt-Marie Andersson (1980). Emaux limousins en Suède: les châsses, les croix. Almqvist & Wiksell.

Musée du Louvre; Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.) (1996). Enamels of Limoges: 1100-1350. Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 978-0-87099-758-7.

Limoges (France). Musée municipal (1999). Valérie et Thomas Becket: de l'influence des princes Plantagenêt dans l'œuvre de Limoges. Musée municipal de l'Évêché-Musée de l'émail. ISBN 978-2-9506813-6-2.

Extant Chasses

Anne Duggan (2007). Thomas Becket: Friends, Networks, Texts and Cult. Chapter IX footnote: Ashgate/Variorum. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-7546-5922-8
Becket Limoges Chasses known to be extant either on public view on in private collections number a total of 45

France - 11
Germany - 7
Austria - 2
Spain - 1
Belgium - 1
Holland - 1
Luxembourg - 1
Poland - 1
Sweden -1
Norway - 1
USA - 4
Switzerland - 3
Britain - 11

Plus another 23 Reliquary Caskets

Châsses saint Thomas Becket


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