Lockplate

DATE:
c. 1475–1525
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Iron
CLASSIFICATION:
Architectural elements
DIMENSIONS:
On mount: 7 × 21 × 8 in. (17.78 × 53.34 × 20.32 cm) 3 × 18 × 14 in. (7.62 × 45.72 × 35.56 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Decorative Arts and Design
LOCATION:
Wendy and Emery Reves Collection - Entry, Level 3
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
COPYRIGHT:
Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art
OBJECT NUMBER:
1985.R.797.A-B

General Description

Along with masonry architecture and stained glass, one of the most developed of the applied arts in medieval Europe was wrought iron. The metal had long been used for functional purposes, but during the Middle Ages blacksmiths in central Europe raised the forging and ornamenting of iron to a level unseen since antiquity. Metalworkers, during this period, produced locks of beautiful case design, but the artisans paid less attention to convenience and security than we do today.

Originally part of the fittings for a large wooden door, this lockplate is an exceptional example of Germanic metal-working during the late Gothic period with its upper tracery, central ribbon decoration, and lower ogee scrolls. There are zoomorphic heads in the right and left borders, and small decorative pieces of cold iron have been chiseled out and attached to its sheet iron backing. Although lockplates with scalloped edges and applied tracery were made in many European cities, the delicacy of the iron appliqués on this piece, the decorative terminals on the scallops' points, and the splayed shape suggest a great German metalworking center like Nuremberg.

Adapted from

  • Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1985), 175.

  • Dallas Museum of Art, Decorative Arts Highlights from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1995), 12.