The delicate miniature carvings of Daniel in the Lions' Den
and Samson fighting the Lion
in this unusual orb recall Netherlandish Gothic boxwood miniatures. The scene with Daniel, for example, with the crouching protagonist and the elaborate vaulted interior compare with the Prayer Bead with the Story of King David
, believed to date to the early 16th century, in the Thomson Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (inv. no. AGOID.29361). The present carvings seem to have been executed within this tradition but probably date to later in the 16th century, given their Renaissance style. The presence of lions and the Northern Netherlandish silver mounts may indicate that the object was conceived or appropriated as a patriotic object, since the lion became a national symbol of the United Provinces.
L. Ellis and Al. Suda, Small wonders: Gothic boxwood miniatures, exh. cat. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters, New York; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 2016