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Panel - Coronation of the Virgin

Coronation of the Virgin

  • Object:

    Panel

  • Place of origin:

    France (probably Paris , made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1400 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved elephant ivory mounted in a gilt-copper and mother-of-pearl case with rock crystal front

  • Museum number:

    A.19-1923

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This miniature relief depicting the Coronation of the Virgin was probably made in about 1400, in France, probably Paris. The ivory relief is mounted in a gilt-copper and mother-of-pearl case with a rock crystal front. The case is hinged and has a ring on the upper edge, to allow to be hung on a cord or fine chain. Acquired as English, this origin is not persuasive. The carving is not of the highest quality, but it is sufficiently close to other French micro-carvings which have convincingly been placed in the first two decades of the fifteenth century. The iconographic type of the Coronation of the Virgin was particularly popular in France in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries.

These miniature ivory reliefs should be viewed in the same light as their kleinplastik counterparts in precious metals and enamel. And the later pieces, from the second half of the fifteenth to the early sixteenth century, are also often comparable to works in other materials, such as the more numerous mother-of-pearl roundels. Both drew on the same graphic sources and brought sacred images into the possession of the pious.

Physical description

Ivory relief depicting the Coronation of the Virgin. The Virgin and Christ, both crowned, are seated on a draped throne; with clasped hands to the left of Christ, who, holding an orb in his left hand raises his right in benediction towards her. An angel holds back a drapery on either side. Within a crystal and gilded copper case, with a mother of pearl back. The case is hinged and has a ring on the upper edge, to allow to be hung on a cord or fine chain. The front is made of a semi-circular rock-crystal prism, the back of a plaque of mother-of-pearl.

Place of Origin

France (probably Paris , made)

Date

ca. 1400 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Carved elephant ivory mounted in a gilt-copper and mother-of-pearl case with rock crystal front

Dimensions

Height: 3.4 cm, Width: 4.1 cm ivory only not including case

Object history note

Purchased at Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 20 February 1923, lot 81 (£13 13s); previous history not known.

Descriptive line

Relief (miniature), ivory, in a gilded metal case, depicting the Coronation of the Virgin, France (probably Paris), about 1400

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Longhurst, Margaret H. Catalogue of Carvings in Ivory. London: Published under the Authority of the Board of Education, 1927-1929, Part II, p. 38
Leeuwenberg, Jaap. Early nineteenth-century Gothic ivories. Aachener Kunstblätter, 39, 1969, pp. 111-148
Cf. Prior, E. S., Gardner, A. An account of medieval figure-sculpture in England. Cambridge: University Press, 1912, p. 525, fig. 615
Review [1911-1938], Victoria & Albert Museum. Review of the Principal Acquisitions during the Year, London, 1923, p. 3, fig. 3
I, p. 323, note 1
Koechlin, R., Les Ivoires gothiques français, 3 vols, Paris, 1924 (reprinted Paris 1968)
part 1, p. 455
Williamson, Paul and Davies, Glyn, Medieval Ivory Carvings, 1200-1550, (in 2 parts), V&A Publishing, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2014
Williamson, Paul and Davies, Glyn, Medieval Ivory Carvings, 1200-1550, (in 2 parts), V&A Publishing, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2014, part 1, p. 455, cat. no. 156

Materials

Ivory; Gold; Copper

Techniques

Carving; Relief

Subjects depicted

Angels; Throne; Orb

Categories

Sculpture; Christianity; Religion

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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