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Wing, left (part of a diptych), 1 register, 3 arches across (plaquette; frise d'arcatures); probably reused as the binding of a booklet (Front)

Wing, left (part of a diptych), 1 register, 3 arches across (plaquette; frise d'arcatures); probably reused as the binding of a booklet (Front)
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Oxford, Ashmolean Museum

Inv. AN1685 A.581


Height: 112 mm
Width: 78 mm
Depth: 8 mm

Adoration of the Magi.
Pierced rounded trefoils in the spandrels.

Koechlin Number: 0488

Koechlin 1924: France, 2nd half of the 14th century.
Warren 2014: probably France, c. 1325-1350.


Traces of two missing hinges on the right side (original hinges). Five holes on the left side (when viewed from the back) exiting on the edge (later hinging system, probably using cords, changing the panels into the binding of a booklet).

Polychromy - Gilding
Traces of polychromy: green staining (background).

Flat and smooth.
Five notches along the left edge, possibly for a later hinge.
1857 Manchester exhibition label. 1868 Leeds exhibition label. Handwritten ink inscriptions: '(Museum Tradescantianum. 1656, p. 38', '533 (Number in Catalogue of 1756). at the centre: ‘581 Dr. Plot’s catalogue number. date 1691. Liber Decani Aedis Christi’.

Object Condition
One hole along the left edge for the missing clasp.

The right wing of this diptych is now at the Victoria and Albert Museum (Inv. A.63-1949). See related object. The leaves were bound together and separated before the middle of the 17th century when this single leaf entered the Tradescant collection.

Probably collection of John Tradescant by 1656; at the death of John Tradescant the Younger (b. 1608, d. 1662), bequeathed to Elias Ashmole (b. 1617, d. 1692); given by him to the Museum in 1683; Department of Western Art (WA1908.185); transferred to the Department of Antiquities in May 2008.

'Liber Domini Decani Aedis Christi', The Book of the Dean of Christ Church, c. 1684-90 (Ashmolean Manuscript 8, fol. 33r, no. 581).
Liber Domini Vice-Chancellari, fols. 1-137, 'Catalogus Numismatum tum Antiquorum tum modern. A.A.A. quae Cl: Vir. Dns Elias Ashmole Musaeo suo Oxonij prima vice donavit. Anno 1683', The Book of the Vice-Chancellor, 1695 (Ashmolean Manuscript 11, fol. 232, no. 581).
'Liber Domini Aedis Christi Decani', The Book of the Dean of Christ Church, compiled by William Huddesford in 1756 (Ashmolean Manuscript 12, fol. 38r, no. 533).
P. B. Duncan, A Catalogue of the Ashmolean Museum, descriptive of the Zoological Specimens, Antiquities, Coins, and Miscellaneous Curiosities (Oxford, 1836), no. 327.
W. Maskell, Ivories Ancient and Mediaeval in the South Kensington Museum (London, 1872), p. 163.
R. Koechlin, 'Ivoires gothiques connus antérieurement au XIXe siècle', in Revue de l'art chrétien, 59 (1911), p. 9 (offprint).
R. Koechlin, 'Quelques ivoires gothiques français connus antérieurement au XIXe siècle', in Revue de l'Art Chrétien 41 (1911), pp. 281-292, fig. 7.
R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires gothiques français (Paris, 1924), I, p. 212; II, no. 488.
A. MacGregor, Tradescant’s Rarities: Essays on the foundation of the Ashmolean Museum, 1683; with a catalogue of the surviving early collections (Oxford, 1983), pp. 283-4, no. 233, pl. 117.
A. MacGregor, Ashmolean Museum Oxford: Manuscript catalogues of the early museum collections 1683-1886, pt.1 (Oxford, 2000), p. 55, no. 581; p. 193, no. 533.
Catalogues of the early Museum Collections, pt.II: The Vice Chancellor’s consolidated catalogue 1695 (Oxford, 2006), p. 84, no. 581.
J. Warren, Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, 3 vols (Oxford, 2014), Vol. 2: Sculptures in Stone, Clay, Ivory, Bone and Wood, no. 165.
P. Williamson and G. Davies, Medieval Ivory Carvings 1200-1550 (London, 2014), p. 311, fig. 1, in relation to no. 104.


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