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John the Baptist reprimanding King Herod for his immoral life


Display of reliefs

The term stamping or chasing is in the case of this masterful medieval work not quite appropriate. The thin silver plate of a high purity is shaped here by means of matrixes of wood and binder, on which the material is pressed - constricted with wooden and metal tools. It enables to sculpture broken high moldings without breaking the applied thin-gauge material. This technique (forgotten as early as in the Middle Ages) is described in the book Theophilus presbyter, schedula diversarum artium. The verbatim translation - in the chapter de opere ductili - sounds: coined works. The statuettes and relievo on the shrine of St Maurus belong by their quality outright to the best sculptures made in context of the medieval goldsmith's.

The cycle of the stamped medallions

The circular relievo grips the attention primarily by the unusual compositional frolicsomeness, with employing the imaginative abbreviations for depiction of the action. Gestures of the figures are sensitively captured and even in such a small space have the expressions of the faces their characteristics.

Side I: relievo 1-6
1. John the Baptist and Herod - John the Baptist chastises Herod for living with his brother´s wife Herodias
2. Imprisonment of John the Baptist
3. Dance of Salome - dancing Salome (the Herod´s step-daughter) at the feast
4. Herodias´s exhortation of Salome
5. Salome carries John the Baptist´s head
6. Burial of John the Baptist

Side III: relievo 1-6
1. St Timothy blesses St Maurus
2. St Timothy preaches (in Rheims?)
3. St Maurus baptizes St Apollinaire
4. St Peter blesses St Timothy
5. Lampadius condemning St Timothy to death
6. Decapitation of St Timothy and his companions


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