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Statuette - A king

A king

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Dieppe (probably)

  • Date:

    ca. 1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ivory with metal hinges on a marble base

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This ivory statuette of a king, when open, forms a triptych showing on the inside a king and two knights preparing to start on a Crusade. A considerable number of such figures are in existence, including those of several English sovereigns. The peculiar form was apparently originally based on a statuette of the Virgin and Child which, when opened, showed scenes from the Life of Christ. This figure, which was formerly said to have come from the Priory of Boubon (Haute Vienne), had been ascribed to the thirteenth century, though its authenticity is by no means unquestionable. It may well date from the mid-19th century. Although broadly Gothic, the style of this piece indicates that it is a nineteenth-century ivory, probably made in Dieppe.

Physical description

The kings stands, crowned and wearing long robes; in his left hand is a model of a church with three spires. The king's right had is missing. He is represented as a statuette, with the front opening in two parts to reveal a triptych: in the centre, under a round-headed arch supported by two marble pillars, a cardinal investing a kneeling king; in the left and right wings, under narrow pointed arches supported on the kneeling warriors. The three scenes take place within a Gothic church interior.

Place of Origin

Dieppe (probably)


ca. 1850 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Ivory with metal hinges on a marble base


Height: 7.5 cm

Object history note

Given by Lieut.-Colonel Kenneth Dingwall D.S.O. in 1915.

Descriptive line

Statuette, triptych, ivory, the front opening, a king, probably French (Dieppe), ca. 1850

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. 129
pp. 452, 453
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013, pp. 452, 453, cat. no. 499

Production Note




Subjects depicted

Pillar; Church; Warrior; King; Cardinal


Sculpture; Christianity; Religion


Sculpture Collection

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