Abbot Erhard Kastler was the chief abbot of the Cistercian St. Bernard monastery (founded 1194) in Lucerne, Switzerland from 1512 to 1525. This is the vision of Saint Bernard of Clairvoux, which was engraved in a silver chest with the relics of Saint Bernard. This chest was donated by Abbot Kastler to the convent, however it was sold in 1848 when the convent closed. Pieces went to The British Museum and The National Museum in Switzerland (Zurich). I was able to view in person the silver plate that made this print in the National Museum of Switzerland. It’s part of a collection of five plates regarding Saint Bernard. It’s actually very small at 7.8cm x 17.8cm (3in x 7in), and the detail is very fine.
Here we have Abbot Kastler offering the reliquary bust to the saint and Christ leaning down from the cross to embrace Saint Bernard. On the right, Erhard is kneeling with the silver chest and bust in his hands. On the left you see Saint Bernard kneeling in front of the cross. The coat of arms leaning on the right side of the center post belongs to Abbot Kastler. From a series of eight nineteenth-century impressions taken from silver plates formerly on the base of a reliquary bust. 1519 Engraving.
Unfortunately we do not know much of Erhard. He could have come from Switzerland, Germany, or Austria. If he was from Switzerland, then he would belong to the Kastelers of Switzerland. It’s still great to know that there are only a few Kastlers documented from the 1400’s.