Medieval Gilt Bronze Openwork Panther Mount


A delicate Medieval bronze decorative fixture with a miniature panther figurine. The piece may be some kind of buckle or personal adornment. It features art of a symmetrical base plate, which has remnants of stud points on the reverse. A small but finely rendered panther figurine strides across an open channel in the metal with its four legs attached on either side. It has a long, sweeping tail, and head raised to the viewer.  Details such as the ears and snout are still faintly visible. Two small bolts remain on the base, now fused in position, at the centre and on the left hand side. Traces of gold gilding can be seen over the surface of the piece, including on the reverse.

Date: Circa 14th - 15th Century AD
Provenance: 'The Ancient Menagerie Collection' formerly the property of a Cambridgeshire lady, collected since the 1990s and acquired from auctions and dealers throughout Europe and the USA, now ex London collection.
Condition: Good Condition. The item presented is a truncated fragment of the original piece. The prongs behind the panther have irregular ends. The surface of the bronze has been subject to ageing and has areas of green patination. The majority of the gold gilding has worn away but a little remains in some areas, such as the sides of the panther. There is a small break in the length of the tail but both ends are still secured to the piece.

In stock

SKU: MJ-56 Category: Tag:

The technology for bronze casting in England reached an apex during the Medieval period. Fine objects of many types were created using filigree and openwork designs, sometimes decorated with gilding and enamel inlays. The bulk of metal work which survives from this period is ecclesiastical, with personal ornaments also substantially represented in the record.

Panthers held a strong religious association at the time, which has been lost in the modern age. They were seen as mythological creatures, alongside unicorns and dragons, and would often have been seen as illustrated motifs in a ‘bestiary’, likely the only point of reference for an ordinary inhabitant of Medieval England. Bestiaries often included allegorical tales, with the panther symbolising Christ and the dragon his satanic adversary. Panthers were often illustrated in different colours and with shimmering accents, conveying the heavenly wonder of Christ.

Weight 3.19 g
Dimensions L 3.0 x W 1.3 x H 1.1 cm



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