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Mar 19, 2007

Plaque from a Portable Altar Showing Christ and the Apostles

Plaque from a Portable Altar Showing Christ and the Apostles


Part of a set. See all set records

Walrus ivory

Overall: 5.1 x 16.5 cm (2 x 6 1/2 in.)

Gift of J. H. Wade 1922.307.c


This intricately carved ivory panel once decorated the side of a portable altar. One of three plaques, it depicts Christ's apostles and was one of the first major acquisitions of William M. Milliken, the museum's first curator of decorative arts and later director (1930–1958). As Milliken later recalled, the pieces "were immensely intriguing, monumental in scale, even if tiny in size, the Christ in the mandorla could have been enlarged and would have graced the tympanum of a great cathedral."

See also
MED - Romanesque
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 
Walrus ivory
Credit line: 
Gift of J. H. Wade

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