Crozier Head: Saint Michael and the Dragon, between 1210 and 1225

  • French

Gilt copper with champlevé enameling

  • Overall: 12 3/4 × 6 × 3 inches (32.4 × 15.2 × 7.6 cm) Mount: 16 1/4 × 6 3/4 × 4 1/2 inches (41.3 × 17.1 × 11.4 cm)

Gift of Anne and Henry Ford II


On View

  • European: Medieval, Level 2, Central


European Sculpture and Dec Arts

From the twelfth through the fourteenth century the workshops of Limoges produced enameled objects in great numbers, supplying churches throughout Europe with liturgical vessels, reliquaries, and other richly decorated works of art. This crozier head is decorated with an image of Saint Michael overcoming the dragon, an appropriate subject for a ceremonial object used by those charged with protecting others from evil, as the Revelation of Saint John the Divine tells that the archangel Michael cast the dragon out of heaven. This crozier has a distinguished modern history. It is one of three illustrated by the great Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix in a drawing now preserved in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

Until 1838, Louis-Fidel Debruge-Duménil [1788-1838](Paris, France)

1838, by descent to Debruge-Duménil estate (Paris, France)

1850, sold, through (Bonnefons de Lavialle) to Prince Peter Soltykoff [1804-1889], Paris, France

8 April - 1 May 1861, his sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, no. 195

R. von Passavant-Gontard, Frankfurt, Germany

1920-61, Catalina Von Pannwitz-Roth, "De Hartekamp," Heemstede, The Netherlands

1961, Rosenberg and Stiebel (dealer), New York, New York, USA

1959-present, purchased by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA) with funds from Anne and Henry Ford II

Labarte, Jules. Catalogue of the Debruge-Dumenil Collection. Paris, 1847, no. 683. Didron, Adolphe Napoleon. Manur; frd oeuvres de bronze et d'orfèverie du Moyen Âge. Paris, 1859, pp. 123-124. Soltykoff Catalogue. Sales cat., Hôtel Drouot. Paris, 1861, no. 195. Darcel, A.. "La collection Soltykoff." Gazette des Beauc-Arts, May 1861, p. 294. Ausstellung Alter Goldschmiede-Arbeiten. Frankfurt-am- Main, 1914, no 107. Schilling, R. Ausstellung der Sammlung Passavont Gontard, Pantheon, vol. 3, 1929, p. 184. Swarzenski, G. Sammlung R. Von Passavant-Gontard. Frankfurt-am-Main, 1929, no. 113, pl. 39 (ill.). de Vasselot, J.J. Marquet. "Trois crosses limousines du XIIIe siecle." Bulletin de la Société de l'histoure de l'art français (1936): pp. 138-146 (ill.). de Vasselot, J.J. Marquet. Les crosses limousines du XIIIe siècle. Paris, 1941, pp. 89, 290, no. 160. Robinson, F. "An Enameled Crozier of St. Michael." Bulletin of the DIA 41, no. 4 (Summer 1962): pp. 69-71, pp. 70-71 (ill.). Religious Art. Exh. cat., Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Albright-Knox Gallery. Buffalo, 1965, no. 44. Treasures from Medieval France. Exh. cat., Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, 1966, pp. 154-155 (ill.). R. Calkins. A Medieval Treasury: An Exhibition of Medieval Art from the Third to the Sixteenth Centuries. Exh. cat. Ithaca, 1968, no. 40, pp. 127-129 (cover ill.). Hanna, K. Best of Fifty. Exh. cat., Taft Museum. Cincinnati, 1977 (color ill.). 100 Masterworks from the Detroit Institute of Arts. New York, 1985, p. 132, p. 133 (ill.). "Family Art Game." DIA Advertising Supplement, Detroit Free Press, May 18, 1986 (cover ill.). Bilimoff, M. "Saint Michael dans les Crosses Limousines: Style et Chronologie." 102 Congrès national des sociétées savants, archéologie. Limoges, 1977, pp. 37-51. Barnet, P. "Medieval Limoges Enamels in the Detroit Institute of Arts." Bulletin of the DIA 63, nos. 3/4 (1988): pp. 16-25, figs. 6, 7 (reverse), 8, frontispiece (color ill.).

French, Crozier Head: Saint Michael and the Dragon, between 1210 and 1225, gilt copper with champlevé enameling. Detroit Institute of Arts, Gift of Anne and Henry Ford II, 59.297.