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Relief - St Anthony of Padua

St Anthony of Padua

  • Object:

    Relief

  • Place of origin:

    Spain (Santiago de Compostela, made)

  • Date:

    1600-1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Jet relief

  • Museum number:

    A.11-1953

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Mother-of-pearl, jet coral and amber were selected by craftsmen for their beauty, durability and rarity. These materials often occurred in a particular geographical region. Coral for example was prevalent in Sicily and amber along the Baltic coast. Many of the religious items were portable, as were the small portraits. They were often made locally and then taken elsewhere. Pilgrims from all over Europe bought the jet images made in Santiago de Compostela. This relief was perhaps once part of a pendant. Many other jet images of St Anthony are known, some very close to the present piece. St Anthony of Padua seems to have enjoyed some popularity with the carvers of Santiago.
In structure jet is a particularly dense type of coal, and can be carved and polished. Medicinal and indeed magical qualities were thought to be inherent in the substance from earliest times. Jet is found in different parts of Europe (as well as North America), but the two richest regions are the Asturias in northern Spain, and Whitby, Yorkshire, in North East England.

Physical description

St Anthony, shown half-length, holds a stylized lily in his right hand, and in his left he is holding the Christ Child (holding an orb). The scratched inscription at bottom 'SANT', the remains of what must have been the full title 'S[.]ANTONIO', indicating that a large portion of the piece has been lost.

Place of Origin

Spain (Santiago de Compostela, made)

Date

1600-1700 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Jet relief

Dimensions

Height: 3.5 cm

Object history note

Given by Dr. W. L. Hildburgh, F. S. A., 1953. Acquired by him in Burgos.

Historical significance: Many other jet images of St Anthony are known, some very close to the present piece. St Anthony of Padua seems to have enjoyed some popularity with the carvers of Santiago.

Descriptive line

Relief, jet, St Anthony of Padua, Spanish, about 1600-1700

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

Trusted, Marjorie. Spanish Sculpture. Catalogue of the Post-Medieval Spanish Sculpture in Wood, Terracotta, Alabaster, Marble, Stone, Lead and Jet in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1996, p. 153, cat. no. 83

Materials

Jet

Techniques

Relief

Categories

Christianity; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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