This pair of finely carved bust-length figures depicts two men in ecclesiastical garb. On the right appears an older figure who wears elaborate vestments and a papal tiara with a book in his left hand. His deeply lined and wrinkled face conveys a patient wisdom and authority as he stares directly ahead. His more youthful companion, dressed in a simpler collared robe and brimless cap, glances introspectively aside. He grasps an unfurled scroll in his left hand and a diminutive lion stares out from its perch on his left shoulder.
Sanctification cross with scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary and the Evangelists
Artist Unknown, Greece
This small carved boxwood cross is divided on each face into five compartments containing Christian religious scenes. The cross is set in a stand decorated with mother-of-pearl and green glass-paste stones.
A standing, bearded figure of St. Christopher, broken off at the knees, holds the Christ child on his right shoulder while leaning upon a staff in his left hand. The child, whose head is encircled by a halo, wears a long cloak over his robe and rests his left hand upon an orb in his lap. The red and brown polychromy is a later addition.
Architectural ceiling boss with four faces, probably from the Church of St. Andrew at Cullompton
Artist Unknown, England
This ceiling boss features four faces with traces of paint that are arranged in a radial pattern with the crowns of their heads converging on a single, central point. Two of the faces are female, identifiable by the wimples worn on their heads, while the other two, wearing small pointed caps and sporting beards, are male. The symmetrical regularity of the piece is counterbalanced by subtle asymmetries introduced by differences in detail and the sequence of facial types.
A bearded man, wearing a loincloth and a long trailing headband, hangs from a cross by his arms, which have split open beneath the ropes that bind them. His left leg hangs downward and passes behind his right foot, which perches precariously on a forked branch. He strains to his left and gazes upward with his mouth open in a tortured movement augmented by the dramatic sweeps of drapery that frame his torso.
Buddha, seated under a canopy of 3 leaves on a double lotus dais in the padmasana pose, in bhumisparsa mudra, flanked by two stupas
Artist Unknown, India, Northeastern India
The Buddha in bhumisparsa mudra (the gesture of touching the earth with his right hand, palm inward), signaling his victory over Mara. He is shown under three leaves, indicating the bodhi tree under which he sat while meditating before reaching an awakening. He is shown flanked by two stupas, or reliquary monuments, symbolizing his attainment of nirvana.
Guru Dragpo Votive Plaque, in the shape of a lotus petal
Artist Unknown, Tibet or Nepal
A bas-relief carving made of bone and in the shape of a lotus petal, depicting a wrathful guardian of the Tibetan Buddhist faith. At the base of the "petal" are the tops of mountains, with the waves of the sea visible between them; in the rounded part of the "petal," a border of flames encircles a dynamic image of the bodhisattva Vajrapani in his wrathful form. The background behind Vajrapani is incised with closely spaced wavy lines, again suggesting flames.
A bas-relief carving made of bone and in the shape of a lotus petal, depicting Pehar, a guardian of the Tibetan Buddhist faith, in wrathful form. At the base of the "petal" are the tops of mountains, with the waves of the sea visible between them; in the rounded part of the "petal," a border of flames encircles a dynamic image of Pehar, his garments flowing in the wind as he rides on a snow lion. The background behind Pehar is incised with closely spaced wavy lines, again suggesting flames.
Wood stick with dark smooth patina; shows six registers or symbols carved into it, from top to bottom: closed fist; rifle; wisdom knot; powder keg; femake figure with hands covering breasts and genitals; paddle.