Three large religious-themed patinated copper relief panels


These exquisite, 16th Century style patinated copper panels are decorated with Christian repoussé relief scenes from the lives of Charlemagne and Solomon.


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This set of copper panels feature beautiful relief scenes, created by carefully hammering into the back of the metal. They have been crafted on an impressive scale, and decorated with detailed figurative scenes.

The top panel (as depicted in the main image) depicts a coronation scene. A male figure kneels before a pope, who lowers the crown onto his head. A friar stands in the background, surrounded by other religious figures and military men. An inscription in the top part of the border suggests that this scene shows the coronation of Charlemagne — the king of the Franks and Christian emperor of the West — by Pope Leo III in Rome on Christmas Day in 800AD. The inscription — which surrounds a relief bust portrait of a Christian king — reads, 'Carlus Magnus', for 'Charles the Great', or Charlemagne. In the border, the portrait is flanked by two chained classical male nudes, accompanied by relief depictions of armour and weapons. Charlemagne's portrait is mirrored, in the lower part of the border, by an image of Lady Justice, holding a sword and scales, flanked by two putti.

In the second panel (shown to the lower-right of the main image), a king is depicted on his deathbed, surrounded by mourners and religious officials, who read from the bible and pray. It is possible the king depicted is Charlemagne, who died in 814AD, since the border is identical to the first panel, with the portrait of Charlemagne ('Carlus Magnus') at its top.

The third panel (lower-left of the main image) shows the biblical story of the Judgement of Solomon, taken from the Old Testament. The border around this image is decorated with a castle and two classical nude women who sit on cornucopia spilling forth fruit, grains, flowers and vegetables. At the centre, Solomon is shown enthroned, while in the left foreground, a man lifts a sword ready to bring it down upon the baby he holds in his right hand. He looks to Solomon for instruction. A woman kneels on the floor, clutching onto the child, while another woman tries to restrain her. A group of men standing on the right watch the scene. 

In the Biblical story, two women claim that the child is their own, both having recently given birth but one baby had died. To decide who is telling the truth, Solomon instructs that the child should be cut in half, one part for each mother. While the baby's false mother agrees, the true mother rejects the proposal, offering her baby to the woman because she could not allow it to be killed. This act revealed the true mother to Solomon, who promptly returned the child to her. The story illustrates Solomon’s wisdom as a ruler.


Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
19th Century
19th Century
Christian, Religious, Royal / Monarchy


3 cm / 1.2 inches
98 cm / 38.6 inches


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