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Relief - Coronation of the Virgin

Coronation of the Virgin

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Germany (southern, made)

  • Date:

    1450-1500 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Mother of pearl, with silver crowns

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr T. Whitcombe Green

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery, case 2, shelf 2

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.

Physical description

On the left the Virgin kneels with folded hands before God the Father who is seated on a wide and elaborate throne with turret-like posts at the four corners. He inclines his head to the left and raises his right hand in blessing. Behind the Virgin is seen the cushion of the throne. On either side in the background appear angels. Both figures have crowns of gilt metal, the left hand (and sceptre?) of God the Father was similarly represented, but is missing. The relief is convex and deeply cut.

Place of Origin

Germany (southern, made)


1450-1500 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Mother of pearl, with silver crowns


Diameter: 7.5 cm

Descriptive line

Coronation of the Virgin, mother of pearl, South German, late 15th century, ca. 1460-1500

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

Husemann, S. Pretiosen persönlicher Andacht : Bild- und Materialsprache spätmittelalterlicher Reliquienkapseln (Agnus Dei) unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Materials Perlmutter. (PhD thesis University of Cologne 1998) Weimar, 1999. p. 304.
Büttner, A. Perlmutt :von der Faszination eines göttlichen Materials. Petersberg, 2000. pp. 25-26.

Production Note

Perhaps based on a composition by the 15th century German engraver known as the Master E.S.


Mother of pearl

Subjects depicted



Christianity; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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