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Artist: Unknown French Artist Primary
Date: 1201-1300
13th century
Dimensions: 4.63 x 3.38 x 2.69 in. (11.75 x 8.57 x 6.83 cm)
Object Type: Vessel
Creation Place: Europe, France
Medium and Support: Enamel on copper-gilt
Credit Line: Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (32.100.279)
Accession Number: L2013.13.06
On View: Bellarmine Hall Galleries

A pyx is a vessel used to carry the Eucharistic wafers to the sick who are unable to attend Mass. The angels that surround the container symbolically protect the contents. This is an example of champlevé enamel, for which the city of Limoges was famous in the late Medieval period. Depressions are gouged into copper and then filled with colored glass that has been ground to a fine powder. The pyx was then fired in an oven that reached over 1000° C, dried, and polished.


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The process of applying a vitreous coating to metal, ceramic, glass, or other surfaces by fusion using heat in a kiln or furnace, with the result of creating a smooth, hard surface.
Containers designed to serve as receptacles for a liquid or other substance, usually those of circular section and made of some durable material; especially containers of this nature in domestic use, employed in connection with the preparation or serving of food or drink, and usually of a size suitable for carrying by hand.
public domain
Land owned and controlled by the state or federal government. Also, the status of publications, products, and processes that are not protected under patent or copyright.
Refers to the world religion and culture that developed in the first century CE, driven by the teachings of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Its roots are in the Judaic tradition and the Old Testament. The tenets include a belief in the death and redemptive resurrection of Jesus. The religion incorporates a tradition of faith, ritual, and a form of church authority or leadership.
A semi-transparent or opaque vitreous, porcelain-like coating applied by fusion to metal, glass, or ceramic, having a glossy appearance after hardening. Enamel is typically made from powdered fusible glasses (e.g., quartz, feldspar, clay, soda, and borax) and opaque colorants (e.g., cobalt blue, tin oxide) mixed with oil or water, then painted or sprayed on the object and fired up to 800 C. Enamel is used to protect a surface, to decorate objects in various colors and patterns, to form a surface for encaustic painting, and for other purposes.

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