Description The workmanship and materials of the case are European, while the iridescent blue-to-emerald green quetzal (?) feathers on the inside are Central American in origin and Mayan as used in a work of art. The Crucifixion could have been carved by a native craftsman in colonized Mexico, following a European model; but, if the wood is boxwood, a European wood, the artist probably was also. The boxwood shrub produces hard, fine-grained wood, permitting precise detail that holds its shape. Indeed the virtuosity needed for such a minute scale is part of the appeal. The not-quite-European aesthetic added an exotic quality. The tail feathers of the male quetzal, called "the most spectacular bird in the New World" (now nearly extinct) were incorporated into Christian devotional "paintings" produced in Central America for the European market and highly prized by the Habsburgs and other collectors. A similar pendant belonged to the duke of Bavaria.
|1/27/1988||Examination||examined for condition|
|5/09/1991||Examination||examined for condition|
|6/01/2005||Treatment||cleaned; examined for exhibition|
- World of Wonder. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1971-1972.
- Jewelry - Ancient to Modern. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1979-1980.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters
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