Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Liturgical Comb Fragment

Overall: 3 5/8 x 4 in. (9.1 x 10.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchased jointly by The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Cloisters Collection) and the Réunion des Musées Nationaux de France (Palais du Louvre), 1973
Accession Number:
Not on view
Liturgical comb fragment depicting the Tree of Jesse. Tree grows from loins of Jesse, contains the Virgin and above, the Christ child with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Flanking the Virgin are the prophet Isaiah and Saint Fulbert, the twelfth century bishop of Chartres.
Inscription: (on Isaiah's scroll): EG/RE/DI/ET[UR]/VI[R]g/a/[D]E/[R]A[DICE]; et egredietur virga de radice Jesse, Biblia Sacra, Isaiah XII; trans. And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse...

(on Fulbert's scroll): VI/R/GA/D[E]I/GE/NIT/RIX/V[IR]G/O[ES]T/FLOS/; Virga Dei genetrix virgo est flos filius eus; patr. lat. cxli. 345

(on the Virgin's scroll): ECCE/[AN]CILLA

(on either side of the Christ child): Alpha and omega

(along top of comb): SPS SCS; Spiritus Sanctus?

(along bottom of comb): ISAIAH, JESSE, FULBERTS
L. Salavin, Paris ; [ Hôtel Drouot, Paris (November 22, 1972)] ; [ Hôtel Drouot]
Collection de Monsieur L. Salavin (et divers): Sculptures et objets d'art du moyen âge. Paris: Hôtel Drouot, November 22, 1972. no. 48.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "One Hundred First Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1972 through June 30, 1973." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 103 (1973). p. 46.

"Outstanding Recent Accessions." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 31, no. 4 (Summer 1973). p. 232.

Shirey, David L. "Met and Louvre Purchase Ivory." The New York Times (March 16, 1973). p. 30.

Little, Charles T. "An Ivory Tree of Jesse from Bamberg." Pantheon 33, no. 4 (April 1975). pp. 292–300, fig. 1, 9.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Notable Acquisitions (Metropolitan Museum of Art) no. 1965/1975 (1975). p. 156.

Haussherr, Reiner, ed. Die Zeit der Staufer: Geschichte, Kunst, Kultur; Volume 1, Text. Stuttgart: Württembergisches Landesmuseum, 1977. no. 629, pp. 490–91.

Haussherr, Reiner, ed. Die Zeit der Staufer: Geschichte, Kunst, Kultur; Volume 2, Plates. Stuttgart: Württembergisches Landesmuseum, 1977. fig. 435.

Gaborit-Chopin, Danielle. Elfenbeinkunst im Mittelalter. Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag, 1978. no. 137, p. 205, fig. 150, ill. p. 132.

Gaborit-Chopin, Danielle. Ivoires du Moyen Age. Fribourg: Office du Livre, 1978. no. 192, pp. 132, 204.

Adams, Roger J. "Isaiah or Jacob? The Iconographic Question on the Coronation Portals of Senlis, Chartres, and Reims." Gesta 23, no. 2 (1984). pp. 122, 123, fig. 10.

Fassler, Margot E. "Mary's Nativity, Fulbert of Chartres, and the Stirps Jesse: Liturgical Innovation circa 1000 and Its Afterlife." Speculum 75, no. 2 (April 2000). pp. 430–31, fig. 5.

Gaborit-Chopin, Danielle. Ivoires Médiévaux, Ve-XVe siècle. Paris: Musée du Louvre, 2003. no. 90, pp. 260-61.

Williamson, Paul. Medieval Ivory Carvings: Early Christian to Romanesque. London: V & A Publications, 2010. p. 308.

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