Combining an Hispano-Philippine carved ivory face and hands with a Spanish statuette of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, this remarkable sculptural group is a testament to the rich trade between Spain and her empire in the 17th century. The face compares closely with Hispano-Philippine ivory carvings: see for example, the 17th-century ivory statuette also depicting Our Lady published by Estella Marcos (op. cit., no. 9, pp. 60-61).
The statuette itself follows the archetype first formulated by Alonso Cano (1601-1667) (see his Immaculate Conception, 1652, Royal Chapel, Granada Cathedral; see Pampoulides, Bray and Torres, op. cit., p. 102, fig. 1) and developed by his celebrated student Pedro de Mena (1628-1688). The grotesque designs around the base compare with drawings attributed to Cano. Compare also with examples from his Immaculate Conception series in: Parish church of Alhendín, Grenada; the Archbishop's Palace, Grenada; the church of San Nicolás, Murcia; Prado, Madrid; Iglesia Museo, Tordesillas; and Cordoba cathedral (Pampoulides, Bray and Torres, op. cit., pp. 102-107, figs. 2-7). The quality is such that an attribution to the workshop of Alonso Cano, or possibly his student Pedro de Mena, would not be unjustified.
M. Trusted, Spanish Sculpture: A Catalogue of the collection in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1996, pp. 64-67; X. Bray, The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture 1600-1700, exh. cat. National Gallery, London and NGA, Washington, 2010; A. Pampoulides, X. Bray and R. Torres, Pedro de Mena: The Spanish Bernini, exh. cat., Coll e Cortés, Madrid and London, 2014, pp. 102-107