Lot 255
A Renaissance Limoges Enamel Plaque of the Nativity
Lot Details & Additional Photographs
16th century, Limoges, France, painted enamel on copper, partly gilt, unsigned, depicting the Virgin Mary and Joseph on either side of the Christ child, with two angels attending within a vaulted stable, background with two shepherds to the right, bull and donkey to the left, with molded cornice and and pierced upper pediment, presented on a later velvet backing and wooden frame.

Frame 12 1/2 x 9 3/4 in.; plaque 5 1/2 x 3 1/8 in.

From the Collection of the late Dr. Margery Williams Adams and Dr. George Carlisle Adams, Charlotte, North Carolina
Margery and Carlisle Adams were lifelong patrons of the arts in their hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. They met in Paris where they were both Fulbright Scholars, she studying at the Sorbonne, and he teaching Pediatrics to French physicians.

Margery (1921-2022) grew up in Worcester, MA. She graduated from Smith College, held a Masters and a Ph.D. in Art History from Radcliffe College (now Harvard University), and taught Art History at Radcliffe and Queens College in Charlotte. She inherited from her uncle - Frank Smith, a Worcester attorney - an extraordinary art collection of Italian antiques and works by early 20th century contemporary artists, the core of which has been donated to the Worcester Art Museum and Smith College Museum of Art. Her personal interest in collecting focused on New England furniture and 18th century coin silver spoons. She was instrumental in securing the Delhom Ceramics Collection for the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte.

Carlisle Adams (1923-1996) graduated from Harvard University and Harvard Medical School and began collecting early American furniture and paintings during his freshman year of college to furnish a spartan dorm room. His eclectic tastes encompassed French fans and paintings, Italian furniture, and Persian rugs, his vast collection now residing at San Diego State University. He was a lifelong opera enthusiast, and he served on the boards of both the Charlotte Opera and the Charlotte Symphony.

Purchased in 1984 at Chamouleau Armand, Paris.

This nativity scene shares many similarities in composition and subject to the early 16th century Limoges triptych featuring the Adoration of the Shepherds at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 14.40.699a–c, by the Workshop of Master of the Triptych of Louis XII (circa 1490-1515).

Scattered areas of enamel loss to lower border, right border behind Joseph, upper right corner and cornice; some gilt loss.

$1,000 - 3,000