This reliquary was destined for America, when its export licence was temporarily deferred to give the museum time to raise the money for its purchase.
Reliquary of St. Sebastian by Unknown Artist, 1497
© V&A Picture Library
- Silver parcel gilt, pearl, sapphire, ruby
- 49.5 cm
- Art Fund grant:
- £282,947 ( Total: £1,455,536; Tax remission; Export stopped)
- Acquired in:
It depicts St. Sebastian lashed to bare tree with his right arm bent at side, and his left arm raised. The relics are contained in a glazed panel. According to a Latin inscription on the base, it was commissioned by a monastery near Augsburg during a time when the monastery was suffering from plague. The Roman soldier, St Sebastian was frequently invoked as a protector against the plague.
Commissioned for the Monastery of Kaisheim, Germany; probably sold following he secularisation of the monastery in 1802-3; Prince Soltykoff, Paris, 1861; Baron Achille Seillière, Paris, 1901; Sir Julius Werner; thence by descent; Christie's, 2