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Photo of Louvre Museum

Suger's Eagle (c.1147)

Eagle of Abbot Suger. Porphyry vase from ancient Egypt or imperial Rome, mounted with gilded silver in the 12th century. Latin inscription: INCLU (di) GEMMIS LAPIS ISTE MERE (t) UR ET AURO / MARMOR ERAT SED IN HIS MARMORE CARIOR EST ("This stone is worthy of being mounted in gold and precious stone. It was made of marble, but thus mounted, is more precious than marble.") Commissioned by Abbot Suger before 1147 for the treasury of Saint-Denis Basilica. Department of Decorative Arts, Middle Ages, Louvre Museum, Paris.

Photo © David Joyal.

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