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Avarice Magnet

2 x 3 inches

While the quirkiness of this image is sure to be a conversation-starter, there is so much more to the story! An image taken from a Book of Hours in the Morgan Library & Museum collection, this magnet will have people asking you about it.

This Book of Hours includes an unusual cycle of personifications of vices, which accompanies the Penitential Psalms (prayers recited for the forgiveness of sins). Avarice, identified by his scroll, rides a snarling wolf, a beast long associated with greed. A large black pouch hangs from his belt, and he wastefully pours coins from a smaller purse onto the ground. A winged devil whose scroll identifies him as Mammon, the demon of greed, crouches nearby. The scroll has been effaced by a reader, as if to ward off his evil power.

This magnet is a product made to complement the exhibition Medieval Money, Merchants and Morality on view at the Morgan Library & Museum November 10, 2023 through March 10, 2024.