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Lot 0695
**Originally Listed At $700**

New World, Mexico, Spanish Colonial period or later, ca. 19th century CE. A hand-carved wooden figure of one of the Magi (or Three Wise Men, or Three Kings). The figure is posed kneeling on a decorated pedestal with a grid pattern on its upper surface that gives the impression of floor tiles. The figure is carved to wear flowing robes and what looks like fur around his shoulders; he has long, well-rendered hair, a naturalistic beard, and a round headdress that looks like a turban. His thin face is carved to look lively, with life-like details especially around the eyes and mouth. The front and sides of the body are fully carved, while the back is less defined, probably because the figure was made to be in a creche, facing a particular way. Size: 6.4" L x 6.8" W x 13.25" H (16.3 cm x 17.3 cm x 33.7 cm)

In the nativity scene described in the Book of Matthew, the Magi are described as kneeling or bowing in worship when they arrive before the Christ Child. This gesture, alongside the narrative of Christ's birth told in the Book of Luke, had great influence on early Christian ritual practices that has persisted to this day, depending on the sect, in the acts of kneeling and prostration in Christian religious ceremonies. This beautiful figure would have been displayed in a church and was probably once brightly painted.

Provenance: private Moore collection Denver, Colorado, USA, acquired thirty years ago

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#121976

Condition

Hands/lower arms are lost. Wood patina with surface wear as shown.

Buyer's Premium

  • 24.5%

19th C. Spanish Colonial Wood Figure of a Magi

Estimate $1,300 - $1,950Oct 17