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Sacrament Tabernacle


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Media: marble relief

Size: 215.9 x 94.0 cm

Acquired: 1970; Purchase

Accession Number: NMW A 236

This marble tabernacle for sacramental bread and wine bears the arms of the Vettori family. It was probably made shortly before 1461 for their chapel in Santa Maria alle Campora outside Florence. From the lunette, God the Father looks down at the Holy Ghost and angels in adoration. Beneath, two angels support The Sacrament and the eagle of St. John stands upon the Gospels. An inscription filling the aperture where bread and wine was stored records the tabernacle's gift to the church of Nynehead, Somerset, by the Reverend John Sanford (1777-1855), vicar there in 1811-18. Sanford spent 1832-37 in Florence where he amassed a major collection of Florentine art. He presented the tabernacle in 1833, together with the panel of Christ the Redeemer by Franceso Granacci (NMW A 237). The inscription above the eagle, OPUS MINO DA FIESOLE 1483, attributing the tabernacle to the Florentine sculptor Mino da Fiesole, is an early nineteenth-century addition.

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