UNKNOWN GOLDSMITH, French
(active in 1150s in Limoges)

Tomb plaque of Geoffrey of Anjou

c. 1158
Copper, champlevé, enamel, 63 x 33 cm
Musée de Tessé, Le Mans

Geoffrey of Anjou (1113-1151) was Count of Maine and Anjou and father of the future King Henry II of England, and thus the forefather of the Plantagenet dynasty of English kings. His image on an unusually large enamelled plaque, which functioned as a funerary effigy, shows him not as an individual, but in an emblematic and generalized way, as a representative of his class. Geoffrey has a sword in his right hand and holds a tall shield with his left. The shield is emblazoned with one of the earliest representation of a coat-of-arms, consisting of four gilded lions standing on their hind legs against a blue background.