Over 500 baroque and later ivories from the V&A's outstanding collection are illustrated and discussed in this scholarly catalogue. This publication includes every ivory sculpture made after 1550 from a collection comprising German, Austrian, Netherlandish, British, French, Italian, Scandinavian, Russian and Spanish pieces, as well as examples from the Philippines, Goa, Sri Lanka and South America. The range of objects is extensive: statuettes, reliefs, tankards, boxes, cabinets, snuff rasps and cutlery handles are all represented. These small-scale sculptures might render dramatic scenes from mythology, present exquisitely carved portrait likenesses on a small scale, or depict religious narratives.
The high quality of the V&A's holdings is readily apparent; leading ivory sculptors to be found here include Francis van Bossuit, Benjamin Cheverton, Balthasar Griessmann, Joachim Henne, Johann Christoph Ludwig Lucke, David Le Marchand and Balthasar Permoser. In addition to detailed entries on each piece, the Introduction summarises the history and techniques of baroque and later ivory carving, while indexes of subjects and artists, in addition to a comprehensive bibliography, provide a full scholarly apparatus.