It is not a coincidence that with the expansion of the pilgrim routes throughout Northern Europe, and thus the subsequent building programmes of cathedrals, that France, and especially Paris, also became highly regarded for its production of intimately scaled sculptures of private devotion. Yet, while the technique for producing an architectural stone group for a cathedral varied significantly from that of producing a similar ivory version, many stylistic elements remained the same. This latter point is most apparent when comparing the present lot to, for instance, the same famous group on the south transept portal of Amiens cathedral, dated to circa 1250 (Barnett, loc. cit). The stylistic similarities between the two groups lie in the treatment of the drapery to the Virgin's head-dress, her almond-shaped eyes and delicate smile and the characteristic arrangement of folds radiating from beneath Christ's feet. These elements, and especially the stylised treatment of the drapery, are highly individual and only really seen on a handful of other small-scaled ivory groups, such as one in the Orleans Historical museum, dated to circa 1260 (Paris, loc. cit.). In this intimately scaled group one can see the same playful tenderness between the mother and child, the gentle but also rigid sway of the composition and the characteristic heavy swags of drapery. It is therefore plausible that these two ivory groups, although not by the same hand, may have both been influenced by the same stone prototype at the same time during the third quarter of the 13th century. In more general terms, the stylistic similarities that exist between many small-scale ivory groups is not exclusively due to the fact that they came from the same workshop, but rather that craftsmen were looking at the same prototypes for inspiration. This was commonplace in France, and especially Paris, where the vast productive output was aimed at satisfying a wealthy visitor's desire to own - much like any modern day souvenir - a reproduction of his favourite piece of Gothic architectural sculpture.