Some works of medieval art were specifically “designed to travel.” They were never intended to remain in the location where they were originally created, nor did they travel from their creation site via any unexpected or nefarious means. These works represent a distinctive category of medieval art production – they were destined to travel beyond their creation site – to be acquired by travelers, and to travel with them. 2 This is the case with the many examples of the small-scale enamel reliquary “caskets” (or châsses) for the relics of the English martyr, Saint Thomas Becket (1118-1170), that were notably created in the Limoges workshops of France during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. This paper specifically concentrates on one very fine example of a Becket reliquary châsse that can be viewed today by visitors to San Francisco, California. Dated to 1200-1210, it is housed in the collections of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and displayed at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor museum.
Ross, Leslie D., "Saint Thomas Becket in San Francisco" (2020). Visual Studies Faculty Scholarship. 1.