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Diptych, 1 register (plaquettes) (Front)

Diptych, 1 register (plaquettes) (Front)
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London, The Courtauld Gallery


Metal (hinges; fastening);Ivory

Height: 109mm
Width: 152 mm (open)
Depth: 15.7mm
Weight: 275 g

Wing, left
Nativity with swaddled Christ Child in manger.
Wing, right
Crucifixion; swooning Virgin supported by Holy Women; saint John the Evangelist; angels holding the sun and moon.

London 1967: French, 4th quarter of the 13th century.
Lowden 2013: England or Northern France, c. 1250-1300. Radiocarbon dating: 95.4% probability that the elephant died between 1171-1267.


Two modern hinges.

Polychromy - Gilding
Traces of polychromy (1967).

The back of the diptych is part of the newer frame and the reverse of the panels is not visible.

Object Condition
Trimmed, backed and recased with ivory or, if the piece is fully modern, simply framed with different pieces of ivory from the start. Repair to the left of saint John.

The Nativity scene is more convincingly authentic than the Crucifixion. They greatly differ in style. The absence of an architectural setting is unusual and may suggest that arches were trimmed in the Crucifixion scene.

Thomas Gambier Parry, Highnam Court (Gloucestershire)(d. 1888): bought between 1860 and 1875; Sir Hubert Parry (d. 1918), his eldest son (from 1888); Ernest Gambier-Parry (d. 1936), half-brother of Hubert (from 1918); Mark Gambier-Parry (d. 1966), youngest son of Ernest (from 1936); bequeathed to the Courtauld Institute Galleries in 1966.

The Gambier-Parry Collection. Provisional Catalogue (London, 1967), no. 18.
General Catalogue of the Courtauld Institute Galleries (London, 1979), no. 8, p. 10.
J. Lowden, Medieval and Later Ivories in the Courtauld Gallery (London, 2013), no. 3, pp. 46-49.


© Courtauld Gallery 2009.

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