Perspektiven mediävistischer Forschung
Ed. by Präsidium des Mediävistenverbandes
2 Issues per year
Schmuck in Burgund, Flandern und Frankreich unter den Valois-Herzögen (1364–1477)
The paper analyses some functions of jewellery in Valois-Burgundy, the Netherlands and France from 1364 to 1477. Drawing on written sources, material objects and their representations in painting, it addresses the following aspects: 1. What are the documentary sources, such as inventories, administrative receipts and chronicles? Which problems of historical terminology arise? 2. Some pieces like two ruby rings symbolizing the rule over Burgundy and Flanders were meant to visualize political power, as well as seals made of ruby. Other rubies in the possession of Edward of England and Charles V had a similar meaning, whereas the famous lover of rubies, Jean of Berry, never attributed such political symbolism to his precious stones. 3. The iconography of jewellery of this period remains neglected. However, some figurative motifs have heraldic content. Others can be connected to contemporary court culture. The motif of an elephant, for example, constitutes a relationship with scenes from the so-called Fasanenfest, the chapter of the Order of the Golden Fleece 1454. Other goldsmith’s works reproduce sculpted works of a monumental scale, such as the Well of Moses at Champmol. The representations of sheep with which Margaret of Flanders decorated her castle of Germolles suggest a heraldic interpretation of the monumental group of sheep, and the ducal couple, that Sluter created for Germolles. Thus, jewellery transformed motifs from other media and created mutual relationships between the arts. 4. While saints and antique heroes were often represented in book illumination and tapestries, they are absent from figurative jewellery and scenic goldsmith’s works. The latter exclusively represent Christian subjects. The reasons for this still have to be explored.