triptych / case / altar-piece
Miniature altar-piece; boxwood; upper section is triptych with ogee arches, Crucifixion in centre in relief, on vaulted background, numerous figures in foreground; left wing: Bearing of the Cross with Sacrifice of Isaac in distance; right: Resurrection, with Entombment and other scenes in background; second stage is smaller triptych carved in low relief with Agony in the Garden and, on the leaves, the Betrayal; this rests on semi-circular arcade with Last Supper in full relief; each side with seated lion grasping a shield; rectangular base with wrestling children filling the angles; whole rests on two recumbent lions chained to posts; between them is shield with helmet, mantlings and crest, eagle displayed; leather case with gilt borders; inscribed.
- Height: 25.1 centimetres
- Width: 14 centimetres (base)
- Width: 13.2 centimetres (upper section doors open)
- Depth: 9 centimetres (base)
- Weight: 356 grammes
Inscription Positionupper section
Inscription ContentSIC DEVS . DILEXIT.MVNDV
Inscription Positionlower section
Unusual for renaissance and Italianate rather than Gothic details, which can be compared with large altarpieces of later date. Two tiny compartments in central scene may have been for relics?
Evelin Wetter of Abegg Stiftung, Jan 09, compared photos of a piece in their collection which is apparently carved in the same workshop or even by the same maker, such as trees, faces and so on, also after a print. Similarly Renaissance rather than Gothic look.
4 May 1994
Clean. Investigate and report. Repair.
Generally dusty with ingrained surface dirt. Small sliding door section jammed in back of altarpiece. Three small pieces of carving detached. Crack in front door. Door on back detached and missing hinge section.
Ingrained dirt removed with 0.5% Synperonic N (non ionic detergent, nonylphenol ethylene oxide condensate) in distilled water on cotton wool swabs.. Gently eased sliding door back. No contents discovered. Waxed sliding door edges before replacing. Cut small hinge from hardwood and coloured to match existing boxwood. Repositioned door, allowing for slight warping and adhered hinge using Vinamul 3252, vinyl acetate/ethylene copolymer. Mended crack in front door using the same adhesive. Reattached small carved pieces in the same manner.
- Associated Event: Sacrifice of Isaac
Prehistory and Europe
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Object reference number: MCN6640
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