The Phylactery of Saint Hubert, a remarkable piece from the King Baudouin Foundation’s collection, is at the centre of the Medieval section of theVoyage dans le cristal exhibition at the Musée de Cluny.
The Phylactery of Saint Hubert, a remarkable piece from the King Baudouin Foundation’s collection, is part of the Treasure of Oignies, one of the seven wonders of Belgium. Several works in this collection have been listed by the Brussels-Wallonia Federation as exceptional moveable cultural heritage. The King Baudouin Foundation has been the owner of this collection of some fifty works of Medieval silverware since 2010 and now ensures its safeguard and promotion.
The Musée de Cluny asked the King Baudouin Foundation to loan this beautiful crystal phylactery for its exhibition Voyage dans le cristal (Journey in Crystal) and it will be the showpiece of the Medieval section of the exhibition.
The exhibition has brought together artistic masterpieces dating from Prehistory up to the world of contemporary art to illustrate the attraction and mystery inspired by the transparency of quartz across civilisations, and in particular during the Middle Ages. Decorated with five large rock crystal cabochons and other precious stones on the front, the reverse side of the phylactery has a representation of Saint Hubert, wearing his mitre and holding a crozier that ends in a spearhead.
Exhibited at the side of a crystal ball that has a mount attributed to Nicolas de Verdun (Museum Schnütgen, Cologne) and a reliquary from Notre-Dame de Termonde (Musée de Cluny, Paris), we can see how the famous Mosan silversmiths worked during the period around 1200AD, glorifying rock crystal at the request of their wealthy patrons.
The exhibition will be open until 14 January, 2024. A must if you find yourself in Paris!
Practical information: Musée de Cluny 28 Rue du Sommerard F - 75005 Paris