December Treasure of the Month
Miniature Triptych, Adam Dircksz and Workshop, c. 1500-30
The incredible intricacy of this triptych is a stunning example of miniature boxwood carving. It is richly carved with scenes from the Old and New Testaments, and opens up to reveal the Adoration of the Magi in the centre to the curious eyes of the beholder.
Probably made for wealthy citizens in sixteenth-century Netherlands, it was used for private devotion but was equally a popular collector’s item. We do not know who commissioned the piece, but a kneeling man accompanied by Saint Nicolas in the panel on the far left may be a clue that his name was Nicolas. Acquired by Sir Richard Wallace from the Parisian dealer Mannheim in 1871, this purchase emphasises Wallace’s interest in adding fascinating and curious Renaissance objects to his collection.