Title: Crozier Head, Saint Michael Trampling the Serpent
Culture: early Christian
Date: 2nd quarter in 13th century
Provenience: Limoges, France
Material: copper-gilt and champlevẻ enamel
Measurements: 10 ¾ x 2 7/8 x 5 ½ in.
As a symbol of jurisdiction and authority of high ranking catholic prelates, the crozier or known as pastoral staff at times is inspired by the shepherd’s crook. It can be used as a walking stick for support in journeys and in churches before the introduction of seats. In this crozier head, Saint Michael known as an emblem of church militant and an archangel (high-ranking angel) is battling the serpent which is the demon or satan. This figure indicate the two very opposing force between the good and evil, and as we can see that Saint Michael’s expression and the serpent biting Saint Michael’s wing shows that the battle is real. This object was made in the city of Limoges, France. At that time, the city was famous for its enamels on copper which were exported for all over Christendom. The archangel Saint Michael was an important figure in French, started by a vision of Saint Michael to the 6th century Pope Gregory the great when he was praying to him. The archangel Saint Michael also appeared to some monks and requested them to build a monastery with his name. The legend tells that it was St. Michael that protected to Daniel (figure in the Catholic bible) while he was in the middle of ruthless beast. There were many stories about the archangel Saint Michael saving people, and they made him a much respected figure in French. STYLE
It is clear that this crozier was showing us the battle between the good and evil as it is shown as Saint Michael battling the serpent or dragon. Saint Michael is the archangel, which is the good side as the serpent or dragon side with evil. It is also found in the English crozier head from Bargello in late twelfth century that it was showing about the battle between the good and evil which in this...
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