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Shuttle - Shuttle with Neptune and other figures

Shuttle with Neptune and other figures

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Dieppe (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1750 - ca. 1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ivory with metal fixings

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

On one side of the shuttle Neptune is riding a sea-horse and a mermaid is depicted. On the other side are the figures of Cupid and Abundance. The reliefs are framed by decorative scroll borders. The carving is relatively crude; the piece probably dates from the second half of the eighteenth century, and is likely to have been carved in Dieppe, where there was a flourishing tradition of ivory carving.
The two leading cities for ivory carving were Paris and Dieppe. Luxury items, such as combs were often made in Paris, especially during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. During the seventeenth century Dieppe became increasingly significant for small-scale sculpture in ivory, perhaps because it was a port.

Physical description

Shuttle, ivory, elliptical carved on one side with Neptune, riding a sea horse, a mermaid and a boat with a sail set; on the other side is Cupid shooting an arrow, a bird and a tree, as well as a female figure holding a bouquet of flowers, probably symbolising Abundance. Both sides are surrounded by rococo borders.

Place of Origin

Dieppe (made)


ca. 1750 - ca. 1800 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Ivory with metal fixings


Width: 15 cm, Height: 2 cm, Diameter: 4.7 cm

Object history note

Bought for £3 15s. in 1892.

Descriptive line

Shuttle, ivory, Neptune and other figures, France (Dieppe), ca. 1750-1800

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

List of Objects in the Art Division South Kensington Museum acquired during the Year 1892. Arranged according to the dates of acquisition, with appendix and indices. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1893, p. 100
Longhurst, Margaret, H. Catalogue of Carvings in Ivory. II. London: The Board of Education, 1929, p. 81
Ivoires du musée du Louvre 1480-1850. Une collection inédite. (exh. cat.) Château- Musée de Dieppe, 2005, p. 138
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013, cat. no. 263, pp. 273, 4





Subjects depicted

Mermaid; Tree; Sea-horse; Bird; Cornucopiae; Flowers


Textiles; Tools & Equipment


Sculpture Collection

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