Lot n° 10
15000 - 20000
Result with fees
: 18 200EUR
Deeply carved ivory plaque representing scenes... - Lot 10 - Pierre Bergé & Associés
Deeply carved ivory plaque representing scenes from the New Testament. The six scenes are arranged like a triptych in two registers, with the central part arched and the two flaps with sloping sides. From left to right and from top to bottom: the Nativity, the Adoration of the Magi, the Resurrection, the Transfiguration, Pentecost, the Assumption.
The scenes are meticulously depicted, sometimes with a multitude of characters, as in the last three. In the upper part is represented the Annunciation, the angel kneeling on the slope of the left flap, a banner in front of him, the Virgin seated next to a prie-Dieu on which rests an open book on the slope of the right flap; the star of the Nativity, in the center of the arched arch, dominates the Adoration.
England, circa 1280
Engraved inscription on the back with gothic letters
Height: from 6.6 cm to 6.8 cm - Width: from 7.8 cm to 8.4 cm - Thickness: 1.8 cm - Weight: 120 g (slight lacks, especially at the top, fixing hole)
Provenance: former private collection, Italy
Works consulted: M. Gibson, The Liverpool Ivories - Late Antique and Medieval Ivory and Bone Carving in Liverpool Museum and the Walker Art Gallery, London, 1994, cat.27, pp.71-72; P. Williamson and G. Davies, Medieval Ivory Carvings 1200-1550, part I, London, 2014, cat.52 and 53, p 170-173.
This ivory is part of an extremely small corpus that appears to be limited to four bas-reliefs: a walrus ivory plaque and a triptych held in the Victoria and Albert Museum (inv. no. 747-1877 and inv. no. 243-1867, A.31 1 and 2-1996, figs. a and b), a central triptych plate belonging to the Museum of Liverpool, from the years 1280-1300 (inv. M 8011, fig. c) as well as a diptych presented in 2019 on the Belgian art market (as South Germany or
Rheno-mosan, ca. 1220-1250, fig. d). Although displaying certain differences in their workmanship, they have in common their small dimensions, the depth of the chisel work, scenes arranged in two or three registers, often animated by numerous characters with similar heads with protruding eyes. The thick plate presented here is of a more careful workmanship; the sculptor shows indeed in some scenes a real prowess, making twelve to fifteen characters fit in a few square centimeters, up to twenty in the one of the Assumption. The particularly singular iconography with this representation of the Transfiguration showing Jesus hovering, hands joined above the Mountain, a theme of Byzantine origin, confirms the archaic character of this production and confers great interest to this hitherto unpublished plate.
A report of analysis by the carbon 14 method carried out by the CIRAM Laboratory dated 11 May 2021 will be given to the purchaser (n° 0421-OA-250Z).
It concludes that the ivory was dated between 1256 and 1303 (87.6%) with a 95.4% confidence level.
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