12th century AD (possibly)
Ivory; Elephant Ivory
File of material relating to a headless Madonna with Child. Includes information card (and photocopy of similar document) with photocopy of image of object (date unspecified). Manuscript notes on verso of information card state that this object was dated with reference to its drapery and that there are similar objects in Paris and Rouen; Hunt Museum object comment sheet (25 April 1996) giving comments of John Cherry, British Museum, questioning the accuracy of the dating of this object to the twelfth century; photocopy of extract from exhibition catalogue (c. 1970) issued by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to coincide with its exhibition, 'The Year 1200,' held between 12 February-10 May 1970. Extract describes the present object which was exhibited; letters and copies of same received by John Hunt, Senior, at a time he attempted to trace the provenance of the item. In one letter (12 November 1959), Thomas F. Flannery, Junior, 174 Michigan Avenue, Wilmette, Illinois, writes that he purchased it in New York a number of years ago with three other objects, all of which were part of the collection of John Pierpont Morgan. They were among a group of items given by Morgan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Writer comments that when he purchased the pieces from French and Company, he was told the Metropolitan Museum of Art disposed of them because of 'certain obvious defects, such - as in your piece - the two modern heads.' Also writes that the items he purchased are marked with numbers preceded by the letters 'PM'; letter (23 March 1960) from Peter Lasko, British Museum, who plans to write a paper about a group of items of which the present figure is one. Writes to Hunt, 'I agree with your comparison with the Ingeborg Psalter - which ties the ivory in with Chartres Transepts, Strasbourg, Nicholas of Verdun etc. etc.'; letter (25 June 1960) from Milton Samuels, French and Company Inc., Madison Avenue and 76th Street, New York, states that he believes the lot bought by Flannery was not recorded in any catalogue of the Morgan sales as the items had been in the Morgan family for more than fifty years; later letter (29 August 1960) from Samuels states that Peter Lasko is seeking information on the item as his institution plans to publish a relevant article. Mentions that French and Company purchased it from the Morgan Library but no other information is available on its earlier provenance; letter (5 October 1960) from Vera K. Ostoia, Research Associate, Medieval Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, mentions that Morgan Library records show that the item was sold to French and Company in 1951. Also writes that as far as she can ascertain, it never belonged to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Figure sculpture (Madonna and Child) | Ivory ,Elephant Ivory | 12th century AD (possibly) | The Hunt Collection | PD