Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Statuette - St Michael

St Michael

  • Object:

    Statuette

  • Place of origin:

    China (or Hispano-filipino, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ivory

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W.L. Hildburgh F.S.A. in 1951

  • Museum number:

    A.82-1951

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The winged figure of St Michael stands over the defeated devil, a human-headed creature with fangs and breasts, cloven-hoofed hind feet, and clawed forefeet.
The figure was classified as Portuguese when acquired, but it is more likely to be Chinese or Hispano-filipino. The oval face and heavy-lidded eyes, as well as the comparatively large size of this piece, suggest it was made in the Philippines, when those islands were under Spanish rule, probably by a Chinese or possibly Filipino sculptor. It is likely to date from around 1700. Such ivories were usually made for export to Spain; the archangel St Michael, in the guise of a warrior, was frequently depicted.

Physical description

The winged figure of St Michael stands over the defeated devil, a human headed creature with fangs and breasts, cloven-hoofed hind feet, and clawed forefeet. The saint wears classical armour, and wielding a flaming sword in his raised right hand over the prostrate devil. He has an oval face and heavy-lidded eyes. The wings and right arm are attached separately.

Place of Origin

China (or Hispano-filipino, made)

Date

ca. 1700 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Ivory

Dimensions

Height: 41 cm Base to tip of sword handle (maximum height), Width: 21 cm Across arm and wings (maximum width), Width: 13.5 cm Base, Depth: 13 Base

Object history note

The object is said to have been in the Cook Collection previously (presumably the Art collector Sir Francis Cook, 1st Baronet (1817-1901), although no references to this item have been found in the Cook sale catalogues). The figure was classified as Portuguese when acquired, but it is more likely to be Chinese or Hispano-filipino. The oval face and heavily lidded eyes, as well as the curling locks of hair, recall similar features in Hispano-filipino ivories, as does the classical armour worn by the archangel.

Descriptive line

Statuette, ivory, St Michael, Hispano-Filipino or Chinese, ca. 1700

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

p. 183, pl. 150
Trusted, Marjorie, The Arts of Spain, Iberia and Latin America 1450-1700, London, 2007
p. 156, fig. 9
Trusted, Marjorie, ‘Propaganda and Luxury. Some Small Scale Baroque Sculptures in Viceregal America and the Philippines’, in: Pierce, D. and Otsuka, R. (eds.), Asia and Spanish America. Trans-Pacific Artistic and Cultural Exchange, Denver, 2009
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013, p. 355, cat. no. 349
p. 355
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013
Trusted, Marjorie, The Arts of Spain, Iberia and Latin America 1450-1700, London, 2007, p. 183, pl. 150, cat. no. 349

Production Note

Hispano-Filipino or Chinese

Materials

Ivory

Subjects depicted

Armour; Sword; Devil

Categories

Christianity; Sculpture; Religion

Collection

Sculpture Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.