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Depicting the Christ Child as the Good Shepherd seated with a lamb in his left hand, another on his left shoulder, a gourd of water at his waist, above a mount formed of four tiers; at the top a pair of sheep by his feet, on the second tier a pair of long-necked birds drink from a fountain; below are sheep and lambs and at the bottom Mary Magdalene lying reading a book.
Height: 14 cm.
Christ as the Good Shepherd was a popular subject matter in Indo-Portuguese ivories and in Goa specifically. These depictions assimilate Christian subject matter with elements of iconography which would have been more familiar to the indigenous Indian populace: in particular, the depiction of Christ as a child is reminiscent of the God Krishna, whilst his sleeping, serene expression evokes depictions of the Buddha. It has been variously suggested that the Saint lying at the bottom of the mount may be either Saint Catherine of Alexandria or Mary Magdalene.
Private collection, Germany
Please note: this lot contains ivory and is therefore subject to the relevant trade restrictions in correspondence with CITES regulations. Customers should familiarize themselves with the relevant CITES regulations before bidding.