Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Medieval Portable Shrine

The website of the British Museum has just posted this video about an absolutely extraordinary devotional object, a tiny portable shrine carved of boxwood, made in the northern Netherlands around 1510, which comes apart in three sections to reveal intricately scenes of Christ’s life, and a statue of the Virgin Mary.

Dora Thornton, the curator of the Waddesdon Bequest at the British Museum, shows how the tabernacle works. The Waddesdon Bequest is a collection of Medieval and Renaissance treasures given to the museum by Baron Ferdinand Rothschild in 1898. You can see some other videos about the bequest, explaining its content and history, along with some photos of the collection in its new display space, at this page of the British Museum website. (The videos are also at this youtube channel.)

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