A romantic assignation

A romantic assignation

Anon.

early 14th century

France (probably Paris)

ivory

A finely carved ivory mirror back depicts two lovers in an embrace. Their animal passion is suggested by the squirrel on the lady’s arm, and the horse held in check by his groom—a motif also familiar from illustrations of the Adoration of the Magi. In the background, a female attendant plays a rebec. Ivory-carved mirrors, combs and gravoirs (hair parters) were often owned as a set, their imagery frequently playing on themes of romance, desire and service.

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A romantic assignation
A romantic assignation
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