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The Nativity

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Germany (South, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1480-1500 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Mother of pearl

  • Credit Line:

    Given by T. Whitcombe Green

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery, case DR3

Semi-precious materials such as this often associated with a particular geographical region and highly valued because of their rarity. Many of the religious objects were portable, as were the small portraits. They were often made near to the source of the material and then taken elsewhere.

Physical description

Relief in mother of pearl of the Nativity. The Virgin, her hands folded, kneels on the left by the post of the stable. The child with halo and aureole, lies naked on the ground. On the right, Joseph leans upon his staff. The ox and the ass are in a wooden stable on the left, below, somw wicjer hurdles. In the top centre is seen the radiance of the star.

Place of Origin

Germany (South, made)


ca. 1480-1500 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Mother of pearl


Height: 6.5 cm, Width: 6 cm

Descriptive line

Mother of pearl relief of the Navity, South German, ca. 1480-1500

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

Büttner, A. Perlmutt :von der Faszination eines göttlichen Materials. Petersberg, 2000. no. 200 on p. 144.

Production Note

South German. Probably from the same workshop as A.31-1929.


Mother of pearl



Subjects depicted

Halo; Animal housing; Cows


Christianity; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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