The Treasury of Basel Cathedral

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9780870999765: The Treasury of Basel Cathedral

The medieval Treasury of the Basel Minster miraculously survived earthquakes, wars, iconoclasm, and the Reformation, only to be dispersed in the early nineteenth century. More than half of its holdings are now in the Historisches Museum Basel, while the remainder are in museum collections all over the world. This book presents more than seventy-five of these splendid ecclesiastical and secular objects from the Basel Minster, dating from the early eleventh through the early sixteenth century, spanning the Early Romanesque period to the Reformation. Most of the works are of gold and silver - many encrusted with precious stones, antique gems, or translucent enamels - but there are also textiles and objects of hardstone, rock crystal, bronze, and wood, including the doors of the original storage cupboards. All are reproduced in full colour and comprehensively discussed. The four essays in the volume focus on the history of medieval Basel and on the function of cathedral treasuries, with particular emphasis on the Basel Treasury and its contents. This beautiful book is the catalogue for an exhibition of objects from the Treasury held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from 28 February to 27 May 2001

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Review:

Basel, Switzerland, is one of the few European towns to have retained a substantial portion of its medieval treasury. When the Protestant Reformation reached the city in 1529, the costly ritual objects used on the high altar of the cathedral were locked away for protection and not seen for three centuries. Many were then auctioned off by the municipal government and the objects scattered in museums and private collections. For a hundred years attempts have been made to bring them back together, culminating in an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York for which Treasury of the Basel Cathedral is the catalog. A fascinating reconstruction shows how some 70 splendid ecclesiastical and secular objects made of gold and silver, crystal and precious stones would have been arranged in ritually significant positions on the altar. The types of object, the dates at which they entered the treasury, and alterations made to them in antiquity all provide valuable information about medieval life. For example, when the authority of the bishops was challenged after the earthquake of 1356, the number of gifts of reliquaries increased, the divine power invested in them protecting the power of the church. Treasury of Basel Cathedral is a sumptuous presentation and an intriguing story of scholarship, devotion, and detective work. --John Stevenson

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This beautiful book is the catalogue for an exhibition of objects from the Treasury held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from 28 February to 27 May 2001.

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Timothy Husband; Julien Chapuis; N. Y.) Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York; Historisches Museum Basel
Published by Metropolitan Museum of Art (2001)
ISBN 10: 0870999761 ISBN 13: 9780870999765
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Book Description Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0870999761

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