"Large Carved Mother-of-pearl Medallion, South Germany Or Austria, Circa 1480"Large carved mother-of-pearl medallion
South Germany or Austria, around 1480
~ 8.8 cm in diameter (mother-of-pearl)
19 x 20 cm (frame)
Christ praying in a garden on the Mount of Olives. Behind him, Pierre, Jean and Jacques are asleep.
The quality of the sculpture on a material as hard as mother-of-pearl is remarkable: see the delicacy of the drapery, the palisade of the garden with its door, the elegance with which the sculptor used the convex shape of the shell to unfold his story around the central figure of Christ.
The group of three sleeping disciples alone is a masterpiece.
The general condition is excellent. A gap in the upper left, in front of Christ, where there was to be an angel whose folds of clothing we can guess. ________________
In a Restauration period frame in blackened wood with nets and medallion in gilded bronze of excellent quality (slot, small gaps).
By Malard in Paris, around 1840.
We localize the production of these carved mother-of-pearl medallions in southern Germany or Austria towards the end of the 15th century. If most measure between 4 and 5 cm in diameter and could be worn around the neck, ours has atypical dimensions (almost 9 cm in diameter). It is perhaps a decorative element of tabernacle or monstrance, as we can see for example on the triptych of the Passion kept at the MET of New York (last photo).