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Article

French, 16th century, male.

Active in Metz in 1596.

Sculptor, founder, metal worker.

School of Lorraine.

Working with four founders, Hutinet, Dubois, Sonois and Voitié, François Abel cast the bell of the cathedral of Metz in eastern France.

Article

Italian, 16th century, male.

Born 1538; died 22 May 1591, in Vienna.

Sculptor, medallist.

Prague School.

Antonio Abondio appears to have been the great 16th-century master in his field. He worked first in Munich at the court of Duke Maximilian of Bavaria, then in Prague, where he was employed at the court of Emperor Rudolph II. In ...

Article

French, 15th century, male.

Goldsmith. Religious subjects.

Adrien de Tours was paid a sum of 431 pounds and 10 sols in 1492 for the production of a shrine to St Eutrope.

Article

Syrian, 13th century, male.

Metal worker.

Ahmad ibn Umar al Dhaki is thought to have come from Mosul, and had a famous workshop and numerous apprentices. Three leather objects, one in Cleveland Museum, one at the Louvre and one in a private collection in Switzerland, are signed by him and dated between ...

Article

Matthew Woodworth

English cleric, architect, and goldsmith. Already an accomplished goldsmith when first recorded as monk of Ely Cathedral in 1314, Walsingham was appointed sub-prior of Ely in 1316, sacrist in 1321, and served as prior from 1341 until his death. As sacrist, Alan of Walsingham was responsible for the building fabric, particularly finances and general repair. He also supervised new construction projects, organized and paid the labour force, and arranged for delivery of materials. During his tenure, Walsingham oversaw the building of a new sacristy (...

Article

Alchemy  

Laurinda Dixon

Ancient science from which modern chemistry evolved. Based on the concept of transmutation—the changing of substances at the elemental level—it was both a mechanical art and an exalted philosophy. Practitioners attempted to combine substances containing the four elements (fire, water, earth, and air) in perfect balance, ultimately perfecting them into a fifth, the quintessence (also known as the philosopher’s stone) via the chemical process of distillation. The ultimate result was a substance, the ‘philosopher’s stone’, or ‘elixir of life’, believed capable of perfecting, or healing, all material things. Chemists imitated the Christian life cycle in their operations, allegorically marrying their ingredients, multiplying them, and destroying them so that they could then be cleansed and ‘resurrected’. They viewed their work as a means of attaining salvation and as a solemn Christian duty. As such, spiritual alchemy was sanctioned, legitimized, and patronized by the Church. Its mundane laboratory procedures were also supported by secular rulers for material gain. Metallurgists employed chemical apparatus in their attempts to transmute base metals into gold, whereas physicians and apothecaries sought ultimately to distill a cure-all elixir of life. The manifold possibilities inherent in such an outcome caused Papal and secular authorities to limit and control the practice of alchemy by requiring licences and punishing those who worked without authorization....

Article

Italian, 15th – 16th century, male.

Active in Perugia.

Born 1479 or 1480; died after 1553.

Painter. Religious subjects.

Domenico di Paride was the son of the goldsmith Paride Alfani. He studied with Perugino and was a fellow student of Raphael and Rosso Fiorentino. His son Orazio was his greatest disciple, and for many years a number of his works were attributed to his son....

Article

David A. Hinton

Anglo-Saxon jewel made of gold, rock crystal, and enamel (Oxford, Ashmolean), made in the reign of King Alfred (reg 871–99) and found in Somerset in 1693. The crystal is a teardrop-shaped polished, flat slab, with bevelled sides, set in a gold frame. Below the crystal, there is a cloisonné enamel figure of a seated male figure, apparently holding two flowering plants. Behind the enamel is a gold plate, engraved with a different plant. The frame is soldered to a sheet-gold beast’s head, its jaws holding a short tube with a rivet through the end. Soldered to the head and the sloping-sided frame are plain, beaded, and twisted gold wires, and gold granules. Cut into the frame are openwork Old English letters reading AELFRED MEC HEHT GEWRYCAN (‘Alfred ordered me to be made’)....

Article

Dutch, 16th century, male.

Active in Amsterdam during the first half of the 16th century.

Engraver, goldsmith.

Article

Emma Packer

English goldsmith. He was the son of a London goldsmith and was the most successful goldsmith working at the Tudor court; his work bridged the transition between the Gothic and the Renaissance styles. He was an official at the Mint from 1504 to almost the end of his life, his appointment possibly facilitated by his marriage to Elizabeth, granddaughter of Sir ...

Article

Italian, 14th century, male.

Born c. 1290, in Pontedera; died between 26 August 1348 and 19 July 1349, in Orvieto (Umbria).

Sculptor, goldsmith, architect.

As the son of the goldsmith Ugolino Nini, it is likely that Andrea Pisano da Pontedera started by learning his father's trade. However, nothing is known of his early years except that he appears to have joined the studio of Lorenzo Maitani of Orvieto. From ...

Article

Spanish, 14th century, male.

Goldsmith, enameller.

Ramon Andrea worked on the silver retable decorated with enamels in Gerona Cathedral.

Article

French, 16th century, male.

Born c. 1530, in Limoges.

Painter.

Anthoine painted a large work in about 1572 for the guild of goldsmiths of Limoges. He is perhaps a relative of the goldsmith mentioned in around 1750 as being from Limoges.

Article

Antico  

Italian, 15th – 16th century, male.

Born c. 1460; died 1528, in Bózzolo.

Goldsmith, sculptor, medallist, copyist. Statues, statuettes.

Antico was from Mantua and went to Rome in 1495 and 1497. His first commission was in 1479, for a pair of medals commemorating the wedding of Gianfranceso Gonzaga to Antonia del Banzo. His first visit to Rome, in ...

Article

Italian, 15th century, male.

Sculptor (?), goldsmith (?).

Gonzati attributes the Miracle of the Miser on the high altar of S Antonio of Padua to Antonio di Giovanni da Siena.

Article

Italian, 16th century, male.

Active in Rome and in Perugia.

Died c. 1522.

Painter, goldsmith.

Article

Apvril  

French, 16th century, male.

Born in Paris.

Sculptor, goldsmith.

Apvril was granted citizenship in the town of Valenciennes in 1561.

Article

John N. Lupia

Type of ewer, usually of metal, used for the washing of hands in a liturgical or domestic context. It is often zoomorphic in form and usually has two openings, one for filling with water and the other for pouring. In their original usage aquamanilia expressed the symbolic significance of the lavabo, the ritual washing of the hands by the priest before vesting, before the consecration of the Eucharist and after mass. The earliest production of ...

Article

Italian goldsmith. A native of Antella (near Florence), he had moved to Florence by 16 August 1324, when he was registered in the goldsmiths’ guild. His sole extant autograph work, incorrectly attributed by Vasari to Cione Aretino, is the reliquary bust of St Zenobius (Florence, S Maria del Fiore), which is inscribed: ...

Article

Arfe  

German, 16th century, male.

Active in Spain.

Born to a family originally from Harff, near Cologne.

Goldsmiths.

While the work of the father, Enrique, is still Gothic in style, that of his son Antonio (born c. 1510 and died probably in Madrid in 1575) is Plateresque, a style mingling Italian Renaissance elements with surviving Moorish and Late Gothic design, as can be seen particularly in the large silver tabernacles he made for the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The grandson (born 1535 and died 1603 in Madrid) made pyxes for the cathedrals of Avilla and Seville. These three members of the Arfe family were renowned for these pyxes or monstrances, which took the form of miniature basilicas made of precious metals. They were designed to contain the Holy Sacrament and exhibit it in processions....