Spired Monstrance of Prigglitz
Spired Monstrance of Prigglitz
Spired Monstrance of Prigglitz
Spired Monstrance of Prigglitz
Spired Monstrance of Prigglitz
Spired Monstrance of Prigglitz
Spired Monstrance of Prigglitz
Spired Monstrance of Prigglitz

1515

Material
Silver

Collection
Dom Museum Wien

Inv.Nr.
L/50

Silver
Monstrance
Medieval art

On view

Query
Reproduction request
Loan request

Photo: Leni Deinhardstein, Lisa Rastl, Dom Museum Wien
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Spired Monstrance of Prigglitz

This beautiful monstrance shows a mixture of gothic and renaissance influences in its fine silver decorations.

It was dark night in the forests of the Schneeberg region when Hieronymus Neunberger, a parish priest on his way home from administering the last rites to somebody dying, heard a pack of wolves coming up behind him, howling. Scared to death, he made the solemn promise to donate a precious monstrance if he was saved from this threat. He kept his word and presented to his parish church an exceptionally delicate silver monstrance, almost one meter high.

Its base has the shape of a six-petal rose out of which a six-sided shaft extends with a knob on top. Mounted on it is a cylindrical glass display container with the lunette inside, a crescent-shaped clip to hold the Host. The container is built into an architectural construction that is reminiscent of a late Gothic spire.

The four-storey middle section of the superstructure rises up above the glass container. The delicately elaborate canopies of the upper storeys emphasize the significance of the figures underneath. The middle section is flanked by two flatter wings, each with one figure at the lowest level. Above them, tapering spires rise up to the level of the third storey. Gracefully coiling naturalistic vine tendrils accentuate the playful overall impression of the object. They provide lateral support for the delicate spires; in the canopy arches, they replace, as decoration, the more austere tracery used up to this point.

The monstrance represents some popular Christological subjects: above the Host container there is Mary with the infant Jesus, and above them, Jesus as the Man of Sorrows, and the uppermost level shows Jesus on the cross. The saints represented on the monstrance are placed in relation to the donor: standing to the left of Mary is his namesake saint, St. Jerome, and St. Christopher on her right, who protected him from an untimely death. As guardians of the Host, St. Nicholas, the patron saint of the Prigglitz parish church, and St. Andrew are deployed right and left of it, respectively. And to preserve his memory, the donor is represented on the base, kneeling before the Virgin and Child with St. Anne.