View full screen - View 1 of Lot 7. Ivory diptych with Scenes from the Life of the Virgin  |  Diptyque en ivoire illustrant des Scènes de la Vie de la Vierge.
7

Paris, circa 1350-75

Ivory diptych with Scenes from the Life of the Virgin | Diptyque en ivoire illustrant des Scènes de la Vie de la Vierge

Restricted Species

Estimate:

60,000 - 80,000 EUR

Paris, circa 1350-75

Paris, circa 1350-75

Ivory diptych with Scenes from the Life of the Virgin | Diptyque en ivoire illustrant des Scènes de la Vie de la Vierge

Ivory diptych with Scenes from the Life of the Virgin | Diptyque en ivoire illustrant des Scènes de la Vie de la Vierge

Estimate:

60,000 - 80,000 EUR

Lot sold:

69,300

EUR

Paris, circa 1350-75

Ivory diptych with Scenes from the Life of the Virgin


ivory in high relief

(open) 14,5 by 15,3 by 0,9 cm, 5 ¾ by 6 by ⅓ in. ;

(closed) 14,5 by 7,5 by 1,8 cm, 5 ¾ by 3 by ⅔ in.

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Paris, vers 1350-75

Diptyque en ivoire illustrant des Scènes de la Vie de la Vierge


ivoire en haut relief

(ouvert) 14,5 x 15,3 x 0,9 cm, 5¾ x 6 x ⅓ in. ;

(fermé) 14,5 x 7,5 x 1,8 cm, 5 ¾ x 3 x ⅔ in.

The ivory diptych is in good condition overall. There are a few fine hairline fissures to the ivory leaf in the background in several places, notably one above the angel in the Crowning of the Virgin, and another fine fissure to the Adoration of the Magi scene. There is another fine hairline fissure visible to the top edge of the right wing above the Crowning of the Virgin. The hinges are later replacements.

Four fillings can be seen to both edges of the ivory frame, which are probably marks where a lock had been attached.

Very good and profound carving and good provenance. The ivory can be highly recommended.


Please note: Condition XVI of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot. (Veuillez noter que l'Article XVI des Conditions Générales de Vente applicables aux Vendeurs (Ventes Effectuées Exclusivement en Ligne) n'est pas applicable pour ce lot.)


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Sam Fogg , London, 2011, where it was acquired by the present owner;

French Private collection.

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Galerie Sam Fogg, Londres, 2011, acquis par le propriétaire actuel ;

Collection privée française.

Related Literature

P. Williamson, G. Davies, Medieval Ivory carvings, 1200-1550, Part I, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2014, pp. 260-261, cat. no. 83.

P. Williamson, Medieval Sculpture and Works of Art, The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, London, 1987, pp. 126-127, cat. no. 24.

R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires Gothiques Français, Paris, 1924, pp. 148-163.

D. Gaborit-Chopin, D. Alcouffe, Ivoires médiévaux Ve-XVe siècle, exh. cat. Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2003, p. 337.

K.G. Beuckers, Mittelalterliche Elfenbeinarbeiten aus der Sammlung des Badischen Landesmuseums Karslruhe, 1999, pp. 54-59, no. 6.

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Références bibliographiques

P. Williamson, G. Davies, Medieval Ivory carvings, 1200-1550, Part I, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2014, pp. 260-261, n° 83.

P. Williamson, Medieval Sculpture and Works of Art, The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Londres, 1987, pp. 126-127, cat. n° 24.

R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires Gothiques Français, Paris, 1924, pp. 148-163.

D. Gaborit-Chopin, D. Alcouffe, Ivoires médiévaux Ve-XVe siècle, cat. exp. Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2003, p. 337.

K.G. Beuckers, Mittelalterliche Elfenbeinarbeiten aus der Sammlung des Badischen Landesmuseums Karslruhe, 1999, pp. 54-59, n° 6.

At its most popular in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, ivory sculpture flourished as a result of the large influx of raw material from Africa, which enabled specialized workshops to spring up, catering to the growing demand. Paris became a major centre of production for both religious and profane objects in ivory, and these objects helped to spread the Parisian style across Europe.


The present diptych, deftly carved and in excellent condition, is a fine example of the high quality of Gothic ivories made in Paris in the second half of the fourteenth century. In the view of R. Koechlin, it belongs among the works that came out of the ‘Innovative Parisian workshop, made circa 1350’ (cf. op. cit.)

The scenes from the Life of the Virgin are each set beneath a triple arcade of Gothic trefoil arches decorated with finials, in two registers reading from right to left. The narrative sequence begins at the bottom right with the Visitation and the Annunciation, continuing on the left with the Adoration of the Magi. The upper register on the left contains the Crucifixion and the sequence is completed by the Coronation of the Virgin in the top right compartment.  


This ivory is notable for the quality of its execution and the precision of its detail. It is extremely thick and the relief is particularly deep: the figures stand out from the background almost as if carved in the round. Their faces are individualized, giving them their own personal characters. Particularly noteworthy is the treatment of the crucified Christ’s bony torso, revealing his ribs. The artist has also paid careful attention to the long robes with their very elaborate, deep folds, especially those of the Virgin in the Annunciation and Visitation, which are accentuated by the swaying posture of the figures.


For the quality of its workmanship and the iconographic choices, the present ivory can be compared to a diptych illustrating similar Marian scenes in the Pierpont Morgan collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (inv. no. 17.190.251), and to another from the former collection of Prince Hohenzollern in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in Munich (inv. no. 90/288). There are further similar diptychs in the Badisches Landesmuseum in Karlsruhe (op. cit., no. 6), in Toledo and in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection (op. cit., no. 24).


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En plein essor aux XIIIe et XIVe siècles, la sculpture en ivoire se développe grâce à d’importants afflux de matière première en provenance d’Afrique permettant la création d’ateliers spécialisés répondant à une demande croissante. Paris devient un centre majeur de production d’objets religieux et profanes en ivoire, qui deviennent des vecteurs de diffusion du style parisien à travers l’Europe.


Notre diptyque, finement sculpté et en très bon état de conservation, est un bel exemple de la finesse des ivoires gothiques réalisés dans la seconde moitié du XIVe siècle à Paris. Il appartient, selon R. Koechlin, aux œuvres issues de ‘l’Atelier novateur Parisien, réalisé vers 1350’ (cf. op. cit.)


Les scènes de la Vie de la Vierge sont placées sous des triples arcatures gothiques trilobées, ornées de pinacles, se déployant sur deux registres avec une lecture de droite à gauche. La narration commence alors en bas à droite avec la Visitation et l’Annonciation, et se poursuit à gauche par l’Adoration des Mages. Elle continue sur le registre supérieur à gauche par la Crucifixion et se termine par le Couronnement de la Vierge en haut à droite.


Grâce au travail précis du traitement de l’ivoire et un relief particulièrement profond, les personnages se détachent presque en ronde bosse de l’arrière-plan. L’artiste a porté une attention particulière aux draperies des robes longues aux plis profonds, notamment celles de la Vierge des scènes de l’Annonciation et la Visitation. On distingue également le traitement du torse osseux du Christ crucifié, laissant apparaître ses côtes.


Par la qualité de son exécution et le choix iconographique, notre ivoire peut être rapproché d’un diptyque illustrant de scènes mariales similaires, dans la collection Pierpont Morgan au Metropolitan museum de New York (inv. n°17.190.251), et à un autre provenant de l’ancienne collection du Prince Hohenzollern au Bayerisches Nationalmuseum de Munich (inv. n° 90/288). D’autres diptyques similaires sont conservés au Badisches Landesmuseum de Karlsruhe (op.cit., n° 6), à Tolède, ainsi que dans la collection Thyssen-Bornemisza (op. cit., n° 24).