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Ivory - St Sebastian

St Sebastian

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Spain (or Portuguese, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1690 - ca. 1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ivory and ebony

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Both this ivory and A.62-1949 have been described as 'Spanish or Portuguese', and although this is possible, it is difficult to make a more precise attribution. They may not be a pair; iconographically they do not belong together (a New Testament saint and a martyr saint), and the frames differ from one another in certain details. The slightly differing sizes of the frames, as well as the irregularity of the sizes of the lozenges within each may indicate that they were made at a later date. The two figures may however have been carved in the same workshop.

Physical description

St Sebastian is shown in high relief, dressed in a knotted loincloth, tied to a tree with a textured trunk, his body twisted, looking up to Heaven. The figure is dowelled into a separate ivory base. The frame is ebony and ivory, with black and white lozenges forming the background.

Place of Origin

Spain (or Portuguese, made)


ca. 1690 - ca. 1700 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Ivory and ebony


Height: 29.2 cm whole, Height: 21 cm ivory alone, Width: 18.4 cm of whole

Object history note

Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh, F. S. A. in 1949; formerly on loan from Dr Hildburgh.

Historical context note

This forms part with the figure of St John the Baptist in a similar frame (V&A, no. A.62-1949).

Descriptive line

Relief, ivory and ebony, St Sebastian, Spanish or Portuguese, ca. 1690-1700

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

Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013, cat. no. 330, pp. 336, 7


Ivory; Ebony



Subjects depicted

Arrows; Tree


Christianity; Sculpture; Reliefs


Sculpture Collection

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