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Panel (fragment of a painter's box?), 1 register, 3 arches across (frise d'arcatures; plaquette; boîte) (Back)

Panel (fragment of a painter's box?), 1 register, 3 arches across (frise d'arcatures; plaquette; boîte) (Back)
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Back (upside down)


Private collection, France (in 2010)



Height: 96mm
Width: 55mm
Depth: 7mm
Weight: 41g

Adoration of the Magi.
Row of three quatrefoils within squares. Rounded and pointed trefoils in the spandrels.


Traces of three hinges, visible only from the back.

Inside the box are two depressions of different sizes separated by a raised ivory strip and three oblong slots in the lower part of the panel.
Inscription: 'ce tableau a été dans la cellule de notre Mère Ste Colette lorsque...'.

Object Condition
Traces of burning (?) along the left side. Three double holes in the raised strips in the lower part of the panel (when seen from the back). Later central hole for hanging.

This may have been a painter's box and the slots were probably intended to contain the pigments which were retained here with swivelling straps of ivory, as is indicated by the circular marks around the drilled holes. The open spaces were probably used as palettes. Said to have been used as a pax and to have been incorporated into a bookbinding at different times.

Said to have come from the Abbey of Poligny and to have been used as a pax by saint Colette herself (b. 1381, d. 1447) (see inscription on the reverse): referred to in a 17th-century archival document entitled 'Mémoire de tout ce que nous savons et avons pu recueillir des choses plus particulières que notre Bienheureuse Mère Colette a dict et faict en ce sien monastère de Poligny' (Poligny Abbey, c. 1623): 'Entre les choses qui ont servi à notre Mère (Sainte Colette), cette petite 'Paix' d'ivoire que le Bienheureux Henri de la Baume lui donnait à baiser lorsqu'il disait la Sainte Messe'.


© Private Collection, France.

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