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Gabled diptych, 4 registers, 3 arches across (frise d'arcatures; colonnettes) (Wing, left)

Gabled diptych, 4 registers, 3 arches across (frise d'arcatures; colonnettes) (Wing, left)
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Wing, right



Religious. Passion.

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London, Wallace Collection


Ivory;silver (later hinge and mounts along the outer edges)

Height: 311mm
Width: 105mm (each)

Wing, left
Register 1: Judas and the high priest; Judas receiving the reward; Betrayal (Taking of Christ; Kiss of Judas); Christ restores Malchus' ear, cut by saint Peter.
Register 2: Flagellation; Carrying of the Cross.
Register 3: Deposition with the Virgin holding Christ's hand, and saint John the Evangelist; standing figure of the Church (Ecclesia); Joseph of Arimathea holding Christ's body; man with pincers removing the nail from Christ's feet.
Register 4: Three Holy Women at the Tomb, with angel seated on the tomb and three soldiers asleep; unidentified standing male figure in prayer (possibly saint John the Baptist; part of the Harrowing of Hell scene on the right wing); tomb decorated with quatrefoils.
Wing, right
Register 1: Death of Judas; Christ before Pilate; Pilate washing his hands.
Register 2: Crucifixion with thieves, the Virgin and saint John the Evangelist; Longinus standing in prayer; Stephaton giving Christ vinegar.
Register 3: standing figure of Synagogue (Synagoga); Entombment (Anointing of Christ's body); tomb decorated with quatrefoils.
Register 4: Harrowing of Hell with Adam and Eve coming out of the Mouth of Hell; souls burning in Hell; demons.
Pinnacles. Tracery. Rounded trefoils.

Koechlin Number: 0035

Koechlin 1924: French, late 13th century.
Catalogue 1910: French, 2nd half of the 13th century.
Mann 1931: French, end of the 13th century.
Natanson 1951: French, c. 1270-1290.
Guérin 2009: French (Picardy), c. 1240-1250.
Museum's opinion 2009: French, late 13th century (c. 1260-1280).

Soissons group (Atelier du Diptyque de Soissons) (Koechlin 1924)Master of the Salting leaf (Natanson 1951).

Long replacement hinge. Traces of original missing hinges.

Flat and smooth. Carved rosette and incised lines on the back of the right wing. Modern labels with inscriptions: 'VIII G/437', '437', '436' crossed out (437 corresponds to the Wallace Collection catalogue number).

'A carved rosette and some scratched lines show that it was originally intended to have an ornamental border cut on the back but never completed.' (Mann 1931)

Possibly the diptych bought from Messrs. Durlacher on 22 November 1871 (£150) by Sir Richard Wallace, London.

R. Koechlin, 'Quelques ateliers d'ivoiriers français aux XIII et XIVe siècles. I. L'atelier du diptyque du trésor de Soissons', in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 34 (1905), pp. 362-379 (p. 365).
Catalogue of the Furnitures, Marbles, Bronzes, Clocks, Candelabra, Majolica,... Miniatures and Objects of Art Generally in the Wallace Collection, 6th ed. (London, 1910), no. 437.
R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires gothiques français (Paris, 1924), I, pp. 60, 76, 81; II, no. 35.
J. G. Mann, Wallace Collection Catalogues: Sculptures, Marbles, Terracotas and Bronzes, Carvings in Ivory and Wood, Plaquettes, Medals, Coins and Wax-Reliefs (London, 1931 with 1981 supplement), p. 91, pl. 61.
J. Natanson, Gothic Ivories of the 13th and 14th Centuries (London, 1951), p. 33, fig. 16.
S. M. Guérin, 'Tears of Compunction': French Gothic Ivories in Devotional Practice (unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Toronto, 2009), esp. pp. 238-243, 354-355, pl. 3a-c.
P. Williamson and G. Davies, Medieval Ivory Carvings 1200-1550 (London, 2014), pp. 167-169, in relation to no. 51.


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