Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Unusual Artifacts: The Wild Man Box, 1325-1350

Silver and Enamel Case
France, 1325-1350
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This Fourteenth Century French case (made 1325-1350) is of the highest quality. Given its small size, it was likely made to be worn around the neck on a ribbon or section of leather, or, perhaps it was to be suspended from a belt or a girdle. We can’t be sure of the exact purpose of this centuries-old treasure, but, some believe it was created to hold a wee book. Adorned in enamel, the silver case depicts images of medieval romance. On one side, we have a scene of a knight slaying a wild man through the heart with a spear. On the other side, we see the same knight presenting that spear to a lady who leans from the battlements of a castle. Beneath this, the hirsute wild man lies in repose. 

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