Late Gothic oak sculpture of St Eloy

Circa 1500 - 1520

W 14 × H 37 × D 11

Stock # Marh279


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Late Gothic oak carved sculpture of St. Eloy, Netherlandish, circa 1500 - 1520. St. Eloy was a goldsmith who lived in France during the 600s. He is a patron saint of goldsmiths and metalworkers, including farriers (smiths who work with horseshoes). Here he is depicted as a farrier, in a scene from one of his miracles. A horse was brought to the saint for shoeing, but it was possessed by a devil, and completely unmanageable. St. Eloy cut off the horse’s hoof, nailed on the shoe, and miraculously reattached the hoof without harm to the horse. St Eloy is particularly honored in Flanders, in the province of Antwerp, and at Tournai, Kortrijk, Ghent, Bruges, and Douai. During the Middle Ages his relics were the object of special veneration, and were repeatedly divided and transferred to other resting-places, in 881, 1066, 1137, 1255, and 1306. A mass of legend has gathered round the life of Saint Eloy, who as the patron saint of goldsmiths is still very popular with goldsmiths, farriers and car mechanics. He is generally represented as a bishop, a crosier in his right hand, holding a miniature church of chased gold on the open palm of his left hand. St. Eligius (St. Eloy) is also the patron saint of cattle and horses.