Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Game piece with two noblemen in profile

Date:
mid-16th century
Culture:
German
Medium:
Boxwood, walnut
Dimensions:
Diameter: 1 7/8 in. (4.8 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture-Miniature
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Edward S. Harkness, 1930
Accession Number:
30.135.16
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 521
This piece originally belonged to a much larger set of counters, made to be used in courtly pastimes such as backgammon and the goose game, on a board like that displayed nearby. Exceedingly fine workmanship singles out this game piece as one made for the highest end of the market: the slight difference in color between the uppermost boxwood and the base of walnut would have been more marked when new and may well have identified the player, with the woods inverted on the opponent’s counters. The detailed design of two portrait-like overlapping heads in profile is particularly unusual.

[Elizabeth Cleland, 2017]
Mme Achille Jubinal ; Mrs. Edward S. Harkness (until 1930; to MMA)
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