D. Gaborit-Chopin, Ivoires medievaux Ve - XVe siècle, Paris, 2003, nos. 140, 142, pp. 373-375.
The rich iconographic tradition of the Virgin and Child is unsurpassed in the Christian lexicon, due both to the liturgical significance of the pairing of Christ with the 'mother of God' and the more universally accessible image of a mother with her infant. The present group is part of a large number of carved ivories of the subject, and the distinctively elongated proportions evident here, especially in the torso of the Virgin, can be compared to other known examples from the early 14th century such as an ivory in the Louvre, Paris (see Gaborit-Chopin, op. cit., no. 140). The Virgin in here holds the remains of a lily or rose - symbols of her purity - in her right hand. This would have been mirrored by an apple or dove in Christ's left hand, symbols of Christ's role as redeemer, or of the Holy Spirit, respectively. The present group is notable for the complexity of the drapery falling in heavy folds. The reverse is also beautifully finished, including a line of rosettes decorating the edge of the Virgin's throne, and the delicate execution of the veil trailing down her back.