Hand Carved Ivory Figure of St. Peter, Probably Dieppe, France, 17th-18th centur

Hand Carved Ivory Figure of St. Peter, Probably Dieppe, France, 17th-18th centur


A delicately hand carved ivory figure of Christ’s apostle and first Pope, Saint Peter.

Peter is sculpted wearing long flowing robes, holding a book in one hand and a key in his other. The key and the book are traditional symbolic items related to Peter. The book symbolizes the Gospel of Mark, of which Peter was the source, as well as his role as the preacher of God’s word in his position of first Bishop of Rome (Pope).
The keys symbolize the keys to the kingdom of Heaven and Peter’s role as the leader of the apostles and the early church.
“I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:19). Often one key is gold, the other silver, the first which represents the power to bind and loose in heaven, spiritual authority; while the second represents the power to bind and loose on earth, temporal authority. The keys also represent the authority to absolve sins, or in extreme cases when sins are not loosed, to excommunicate.

The figure stands on a rectangular brass base.

Dieppe is a port town in the north of France. It was a major port from the 16th to the early 20th century and a center for African Ivory import. Dieppe ivory figures are usually more finely detailed while maintaining a more coarse and less polished look one can find in Paris and the rest of France. Dieppe ivories are highly sought after and esteemed.



Width 3 cms x Height 8 cms

Excellent overall condition. no damage or missing parts. 


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