Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Tabernacle or Folding Shrine

14th century
Ivory with metal mounts
Overall: 9 9/16 x 8 1/2 x 1 3/4 in. (24.3 x 21.6 x 4.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 14
The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries saw an increased demand for small portable devotional shrines or tabernacles made of ivory or metal, typically with a courtly, elegant, yet tender Virgin standing in the center. The wings, carved in a rougher style, are rich in anecdotal charm. On the left are the Annunciation to the Virgin, her Visitation with Elizabeth, and the Three Magi. On the right are the Nativity and the Presentation in the Temple.
Joseph Fau(only the wings; until 1884); his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris (March 3-8, 1884, no. 161; only the wings); Charles Mège, Paris; [ Jacques Seligmann, Paris (sold May 1910)]; J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (1910–1913); Estate of J. Pierpont Morgan(1913–1917)
Catalogue des objets d'art et de haute curiosité [...] composant l'importante collection de feu M. Joseph Fau. Paris: Hôtel Drouot, March 3–8, 1884. no. 161, p. 48, (only the wings).

Darcel, Alfred, and Émile Molinier, ed. Exposition rétrospective de l'art française au Trocadéro. Exposition universelle de 1889. Lille: L. Danel, 1889. no. 118, p. 18.

Migeon, Gaston. "Collection de M. Ch. Mège." Les Arts 86 (February 1909). p. 6, ill.

Koechlin, Raymond. Les Ivoires Gothiques Français: Volume II, Catalogue. Paris: Editions Auguste Picard, 1924. no. 136, p. 60.

Koechlin, Raymond. Les Ivoires Gothiques Français: Volume I, Text. Paris: Editions Auguste Picard, 1924. no. 136, p. 128.

Freeman, Margaret Beam. "A Shrine for a Queen." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 21, no. 10 (June 1963). p. 329, fig. 2.

Calkins, Robert G. A Medieval Treasury: An Exhibition of Medieval Art from the Third to the Sixteenth Century. Ithaca, N.Y.: Andrew Dickson White Museum of Art, 1968. no. 71, pp. 150–51.

McCarthy Irgens, Laurie. "Medieval Arts: Special Loans." Bulletin of the Krannert Art Museum 2, no. 1 (1976). pp. 6–7, ill.

Tomasi, Michele. "Luxe et Dévotion au XIVe Siècle: Autour du Tabernacle de Thomas Basin." Comptes rendus des séances de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres 2 (April–June 2012). pp. 1016–17, fig. 12.

Lowden, John. Medieval and Later Ivories in the Courtauld Gallery: Complete Catalogue. London: Courtauld Gallery, 2013. p. 56.

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