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Openwork panel (plaque ajourée), 5 registers, 6 arches across (frise d'arcatures) (Front)

Openwork panel (plaque ajourée), 5 registers, 6 arches across (frise d'arcatures) (Front)
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Religious. Life of the Virgin. Passion.

Repository Institution

To purchase an image

London, The British Museum

1856,0623.47 (Dalton 316)


Height: 159mm
Width: 110mm
Depth: 3mm
Weight: 51.6g

From lower to upper register:
Register 1: Joachim and Anna bring lambs to be sacrificed, but the High Priest rejects their offerings because they are childless. Joachim in the wilderness with his shepherds. Annunciation of the birth of the Virgin to Joachim by an angel. Annunciation of the birth of the Virgin Mary to Anna by an angel. Meeting at the Golden Gate (Meeting of Joachim and Anna). Education of the Virgin by Joachim and Anna.
Register 2: Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple. Joseph and the flowering rod; procession of male descendents of David within the Temple. Betrothal of Joseph and the Virgin. Annunciation; vase of lilies; dove of the Holy Spirit; God the Father making a blessing gesture. Visitation. Nativity and Annunciation to the Shepherds; swaddled Christ in the manger.
Register 3: Adoration of the Magi. Massacre of the Innocents with Herod; trees. Flight into Egypt; Miracle of the Cornfield; peasant; soldier; fall of the idols. Presentation in the Temple; maid holding a basket of doves brought as offerings; Christ held over the altar by the Virgin and Simeon. Baptism of Christ by saint John the Baptist; angel holding Christ's tunic. Entry into Jerusalem.
Register 4: Christ washing the feet of the apostles. Agony in the Garden (Christ at Gethsemane); apostles asleep; Hand of God. Betrayal (Taking of Christ; Kiss of Judas); Christ restores Malchus' ear, cut by saint Peter; halberds; soldiers in armour; lantern. Flagellation. Crucifixion; swooning Virgin supported by Holy Women; saint John the Evangelist and onlookers; rugged cross. Resurrection conflated with Three Holy Women at the Tomb, with angel.
Register 5 (top): Harrowing of Hell; souls coming out of the Mouth of Hell. Noli me Tangere (Christ appearing to saint Mary Magdalene); trees. Doubting Thomas (the incredulity of saint Thomas). Ascension; Virgin and apostles including saint John the Evangelist; clouds. Pentecost; Virgin surrounded by the apostles. Coronation of the Virgin; Christ crowning the Virgin; angel holding a cloth or the Virgin's cloak.
Foliated decoration in the spandrels.

Koechlin Number: 0857

Dalton 1909: Northern French or Flemish, 14th - 15th century.
Koechlin 1924: Northern French or Flemish, 1st half of 15th century.
Museum's opinion 2011: Northern French or Flemish, early 15th century.


Flat and smooth. Modern ink inscription, 'W. M' (for William Maskell).

Object Condition
Restoration to both upper corners and some figures.
Tree missing in 'Noli me Tangere' scene.

Collection of William Maskell (b. 1814, d. 1890); British Museum, by purchase, 1856.

O. M. Dalton, Catalogue of the Ivory Carvings of the Christian Era in the British Museum, (London, 1909), no. 316, pl. LXXI.
R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires gothiques français (Paris, 1924), I, pp. 321, 323; II, no. 857.


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