Left leaf of an ivory diptych carved in depth.... - Lot 13 - Pierre Bergé & Associés

Lot 13
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Left leaf of an ivory diptych carved in depth.... - Lot 13 - Pierre Bergé & Associés
Left leaf of an ivory diptych carved in depth. Scenes on two registers in a quatrefoil with redents bordered by a double listel, in the upper part, the Nativity to the Shepherds, in the lower part, the Adoration of the Magi.
The Nativity with the Shepherds: the Virgin is lying down, her head resting on her right hand, putting her other hand on the swaddled Child who is lying next to her in a cradle, Saint Joseph is at her feet; in the left corner, an angel holding a phylactery, in the centre, a shepherd looking at the Star, on the right, two sheep and a goat; the ox is lying in the foreground, the head of the donkey is visible on the left.
The Adoration of the Magi: the Virgin is seated on the left holding the Child standing on her lap, the latter grasping the present brought by the Magi kneeling before him; on the left, a king is standing with a vase in one hand, in the centre, the third is pointing to the Star.
Middle Rhine, Cologne, mid-14th century Height: 12.7 cm - Width: 7.6 cm - Thickness: 0.6 cm - Weight: 100 g (small cracks, right hand of a magus missing)
Works consulted: D. Gaborit-Chopin, Ivoires médiévaux Ve - XVe siècle, Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2003, cat.158 , p 394-396 ; Exhibitions Detroit-Baltimore 1997, Images in Ivory. Precious Objects of the Gothic Age, The Detroit Institute of Arts - Walters Art Gallery, cat.42, p 200-201.
Diptychs showing New Testament scenes inserted in quatrefoils are rare. However, several examples are known in museum collections, notably in the Louvre, which holds two, including one with four superimposed registers (inv. OA 103 and OA 4089). This type of decorative arrangement was observed throughout the 14th century. The folio presented here is of excellent workmanship, which can be compared to that of the diptych in the Louvre attributed to the Parisian workshop known as "the Krakow box" (fig. a). However, the stiffness of the attitudes and draperies links his style to the Germanic sphere. The composition of the Adoration of the Magi can be found almost identically on several colonial shutters, such as the one in the museum
Kestner in Hanover, which is probably from the same workshop (fig. b)
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