Gothic coffer

Commentary
Gothic coffer
Collection: 
Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

The newly acquired Gothic coffer
 
The coffer is made of wood covered with leather, with a metal lock and fittings. Leather straps were threaded under the bands on the side for it to be used as a carrying case. Attached to the inside of the lid is a woodcut depicting God the Father in Majesty; it is derived from a liturgical book printed in Paris in 1491, which suggests a likely place and date of origin for the coffer itself. The print provided spiritual protection to whatever mixture of books, money, documents, and even medicines the coffer may at different times have contained.

Dimensions: 215 x 320 x 140mm
 
Purchased in 2017 with the generous support of the Art Fund and the Friends of the Bodleian