The Colmar Treasure: A Medieval Jewish Legacy at The Met Cloisters, July 22, 2019 – January 12, 2020

“For more than 500 years, a small cache of jewelry and coins lay hidden within the walls of a house in Colmar, France. Secreted there in the 14th century and discovered in 1863, the Colmar Treasure—now in the collection of the Musée de Cluny, Paris—comprises rings of sapphire, ruby, garnet, and turquoise; jeweled and fanciful brooches; a delicate enameled belt; gilded buttons; and more than 300 coins. The precious possessions of a single family, the inscription mazel tov on one ring links the hoard to Colmar’s once-thriving Jewish community, who were brutally scapegoated and put to death when the Plague struck the region with devastating ferocity in 1348–49. The Colmar Treasure: A Medieval Jewish Legacy will point to both legacy and loss, underscoring the prominence of, and perils faced by, the Jewish minority community in the tumultuous 14th century.

Consisting of objects that are small in scale and relatively few in number, the Colmar Treasure will be displayed alongside related works from The Cloisters Collection, The Jewish Theological Seminary, the Bibliothèque municipale in Colmar, and distinguished private collections in the United States. In the evocative setting of The Met Cloisters—a museum whose very name seems to proclaim a uniquely Christian world—this exhibition will offer a poignant tribute to Jewish artistic heritage and its role in art and society in medieval Europe.” — The Metropolitan Museum of Art

RMN203072

Jeweled brooch, from the Colmar Treasure, second quarter 14th century. Gilded silver, sapphires, rubies, garnet, and pearls, 1-1 /2 × 1-1/2 in. (3.7 × 3.7 cm). Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY (Cl.20672)

TrÈsor de Colmar : bague, cabochon de saphir

Sapphire ring, from the Colmar Treasure, second quarter 14th century. Gold and Ceylon sapphire, 7/ 8 × 3 in. (2.3 × 2.04 cm). Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY (Cl.20667)

TrÈsor de Colmar : bague, cabochon d'onyx allongÈ

Onyx ring, from the Colmar Treasure, second half 13th–early 14th century. Gold and onyx, 7/8 × 3 in. (2.3 × 1.97 cm). Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY (Cl.20668)

Box-72

Jewel box (Minnekästchen), Upper Rhineland, second quarter 14th century. Oak, inlaid and painted, 4-3/4 × 10-3/4 × 6-1/2 in. (12.1 × 27.3 × 16.5 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund and The Cloisters Collection, by exchange, 1950 (50.141)

TrÈsor de Colmar : bague de mariage juive

Jewish ceremonial wedding ring, from the Colmar Treasure, ca. 1300– before 1348. Gold, opaque and translucent enamel, 1-3/8 x 7/8 in. (3.5 x 2.3 cm). Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY (Cl.20685)

Jewish Wedding Ring-Italy

Jewish ceremonial wedding ring, Italy?, late 13th–early 14th century. Gold and enamel, 1-5/8 × 1 × 5/8 in. (4 × 2.6 × 1.7 cm). Private Collection, New York

Page from Mahzor

Page from a Mahzor, Colmar?, first half 14th century. Ink on parchment, 12-3/8 × 8-3/4 in. (31.5 × 22 cm). Reused in the binding of Four Books of Sentences by Peter Lombard, published by Johann Sensenschmidt and Andreas Frisner, Nuremberg, 1475–76. Bibliothèque municipale, Colmar (CG 11629)

1983.125a,b

Double cup, possibly Prague, second quarter 14th century. Silver, gilded silver, and opaque enamel, 3 × 4-7/8× 4-1/4 in. (7.6 × 12.5 × 10.7 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Cloisters Collection, 1983 (1983.125a, b)

TrÈsor de Colmar : clÈ

Silver key, from the Colmar Treasure, first half 14th century. Silver, W. 1- 7/8 in. (4.9 cm). Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY (Cl.20675)

RMN57545

Florin of Louis of Hungary, from the Colmar Treasure, 1342–53. Gold, .127 oz (3.59 g). Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY (Cl.20682a)

The exhibition was organized by Barbara Drake Boehm, the Paul and Jill Ruddock Senior Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters.

Images courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.