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Bone angel carving


This small bone carving was recovered from a chest on the main deck of the Mary Rose.

It is carved with two angels, carrying tall decorated candles in front of a building with a shuttered window. The angels are dressed in the style of 15th-century Italy, specifically that of a female saint or an angel. This suggests that this may have been an old family heirloom, dating back as far as 1420.

It is similar to panels made for triptychs in the Northern Italian workshops of the Embriachi family (late 14th and early 15th century).  They produced a variety of luxury objects (mirrors, caskets and triptychs) incorporating a series of bone or ivory panels. Triptychs, often used as altar pieces or for private prayer, displayed scenes of a religious nature.