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An ivory Spanish-colonial Hispanic-Filipino Baby Jesus “Menino Jesus” figure


Manilla, late 16th/early 17th century

H. 22 cm

Religious imagery of this type was carved by Chinese craftsmen working for the Spanish in the Philippines from the 16th century on. These religious ivories from the Philippines were also exported to Spanish America. The half-closed eyes, conveying serenity, are characteristic of Buddhist imagery executed by Chinese craftsmen. The figure has traces of gold and red lacquer in the hair.

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