What is this?
This is a version of the Virgin Mary from a Hispano-Philippine culture. Objects like these would have been displayed in a home among the most valuable belongings on a mostrador. At banquets and other social occasions, mostradores—flights of steps covered with rich textiles (seen at upper left of illustration)— displayed a household’s finest and most valuable objects. These pieces of furniture were particularly ideal for showcasing silver and gilt-silver trays. Imported porcelain, glass, ivory, and lacquer objects were also ostentatiously exhibited, alongside locally made lacquerware and earthenware cups. In Mexico, round lacquerware trays (bateas), often decorated with religious and mythological subjects, coats of arms, or chinoiserie (Chinese motifs), were particularly prized. Mostradores were also temporarily assembled in the family chapels of local churches, where the elite would display their costly possessions during important religious ceremonies such as the baptism of a new heir.
How did they get the cloth to stay stiff like that?
The cloth has been gessoed, with a type of glue-like primer, to make it stiff and to keep its shape.
What's the material?
This work is titled "Virgin" from the Hispano-Philippine culture. It is made of wood and ivory with pigment, gilding, gessoed cloth and silver.
Is attributed to anyone? And dated?
It was likely made in the 18th century in the Philippines under strong Spanish colonial influence. However, we don't know the name of the artist.
Is the base made of wood?
Yes! The statue is made of mostly of lacquered wood, but the face and hands are ivory. The structure of the gown is actually cloth that has been covered in gesso to keep its shape.
This small statue of the Virgin was likely made in the 18th century in the Philippines under Spanish colonial influence.
Is the crown sterling?
The crown is made of silver, but I'm not sure exactly what kind.
Hi! This is a statue of the Virgin Mary from the Christian religion. It comes from a Spanish colony, possibly the Philippines, in the 18th century.
Objects like this were made for personal devotion and could be kept in the home of a believer. I find this work so interesting because of her dress. It's actually made from hardened cloth.
We have a lot of depictions of the Virgin from Europe and the Americas on view throughout the Museum. They are so interesting to compare.
Thanks so much!
Where is this from? What time period is it from? Is it from a cathedral?
This Virgin sculpture was likely made in the Philippines, or else in Guatemala, Mexico, or Ecuador, and dates to the 18th century. The object likely was kept in a mostrador in someone's home, where the household's finest items were displayed. It is also possible that this item comes from a mostrador set up in a local chapel by the family who owned it.