Coronation of the Virgin and Child
Votive plaques were small but required a solid slab of ivory to serve as a surface for the carving. As in this example,
plaques were often made in the form of triptychs with half doors attached. Here only
the holes where the doors were fastened remain. This particularly fine plaque exhibits
skillful carving and retains more paint and gilding than many surviving examples.
This piece was created by an accomplished Asian artist who specialized in producing
inspirational religious objects for export. The flattened and stylized cloud forms indicate that perhaps the artist was of Chinese origin and training. Religious ivory carving workshops were largely centered in the Portuguese colonies of Goa and Ceylon and the Spanish Colony of Manila in the Philippines. The carvings were highly prized by wealthy, pious clients and as a result traded throughout the world.
--Julie Wilson Frick, 2018