Pyx of the Knight Hans Fuchs
|Medium:||partially gilded silver|
|Dimensions:||2 ½ x 2 ¼ in (6.3 x 5.8 cm)|
|Credit Line:||Acquired by Henry Walters, 1912|
|Description:||Small circular box carrying the name and coat of arms of the knigt Hans Fuchs and the date 1493.|
The expensive material of which this little box is made suggests that it originally served as a container for the host (consecrated Communion bread). Its shape must have been well known in fifteenth-century South-German metalwork, since an Albrecht Dürer drawing of ca. 1494 portrays the artist’s father, a Nuremberg goldsmith, next to a pair of hands holding a similar object. Very few comparable pieces survive, however. One has on the inside of its lid an enamel image of the Holy Face. Unusually, the Walters pyx carries not Christian symbols but the name and coat of arms of the person who commissioned it. His heraldic emblem, a fox, corresponds to the meaning of the German noun Fuchs. Hans Fuchs (1445-1504) was lord of several estates and sat in 1500 in the Imperial Diet that Emperor Maximilian I summoned at Augsburg. This pyx was probably made for the chapel of his principal residence, Bimbach castle. It subsequently belonged to one of the foremost nineteenth-century British collectors of medieval art.
- ↑ On such containers: J. Braun, Das christliche Altargerät in seinem Sein und seiner Entwicklung (Munich, 1932), 304-7; Eucharistic Vessels of the Middle Ages, exh. cat., Busch-Reisinger Museum (Cambridge MA, 1975), 65-85.
- ↑ W. L. Strauss, The Complete Drawing of Albrecht Dürer, 6 vols. (New York, 1974), I: 198-9, cat. 1494/2.
- ↑ H. Kohlhaussen, Nürnberger Goldschmiedekunst des Mittelalters und der Dürerzeit, 1240 bis 1540 (Berlin, 1968), 79, 88, 164-6.
- ↑ On him: A. Tittmann, “Die ritterschaftliche Familie der Fuchs. Ihre Genealogie und ihr Besizt im Altlandkreis Hassfurt”, Jahrbuch für fränkische Landesforschung 58 (1998), 37-95, esp. 74-5.
- ↑ On H. Magniac: H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 60 vols. (Oxford, 2004), vol. 36: 128-9.
Hollingworth Magniac (d. 1867), Colworth, Bedfordshire, by purchase; Magniac estate, by descent; [Christie’s, London, July 11, 1892, no. 796]; Charles Borradaile (d. 1928), London, 1892, by purchase; [George R. Harding, London]; Henry Walters (d. 1931), Baltimore, 1912, by purchase; Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, 1931, by bequest.
J. C. Robinson, Notice of the Principal Works of Art in the Collection of Hollingworth Magniac, Esq. of Colworth (London, 1862), 23: cat. 26.