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Crib of the Infant Jesus

Date:
15th century
Geography:
Made in Brabant, South Netherlands
Culture:
South Netherlandish
Medium:
Wood, polychromy, lead, silver-gilt, painted parchment, silk embroidery with seed pearls, gold thread, translucent enamels
Dimensions:
13 15/16 x 11 3/8 x 7 1/4 in. (35.4 x 28.9 x 18.4 cm) Other (pillow): 4 1/4 x 6 3/4 x 1 3/4 in. (10.8 x 17.1 x 4.4 cm) Bedcover: 6 7/8 × 6 1/2 × 1/8 in. (17.4 × 16.5 × 0.3 cm) Other (Cavity under thre crib): 2 1/16 × 1 1/8 × 1/4 in. (5.2 × 2.8 × 0.7 cm)
Classification:
Woodwork
Credit Line:
Gift of Ruth Blumka, in memory of Leopold Blumka, 1974
Accession Number:
1974.121a–d
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 306
Miniature cradles for the Christ Child were popular devotional objects in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and were venerated, especially in convents, where they were often presented to women taking their vows. This splendid cradle comes from the Grand Béguinage of Louvain, Belgium, established for lay women in the twelfth century. It is decorated with carved representations of the Nativity and the Adoration of the Magi on either end. The biblical family tree of Christ is illustrated on the embroidered coverlet.
From the Grand Béguinange of Louvain, Belgium; Jules Frésart, Liège (1882–sold by 1892, to Figdor); Dr. Albert Figdor, Vienna (by 1892–until d. 1927); his posthumous sale, Paul Cassirer, Berlin (September 29–30, 1930, no. 161, to Bondy); Oscar Bondy, Vienna (1930–confiscated by Nazi officials in 1938); restituted to his widow, Elizabeth Bondy, New York (in 1948 or by 1950); Ruth and Leopold Blumka, New York (until 1974)
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