Object type

hair parter; gravoir

Place Associated

Italy (place of manufacture)


15th century




overall: 360 mm x 35 mm x 12 mm 109 g


Hair parter (gravoir); used to part the hair before combing and dressing, and sometimes worn as a hairpin. Comprising of a long shaft of ivory, of flattened section tapering in a curve to a rounded point. At the top broad end is the carved figures of the seated Virgin and Child. The Virgin holds a fruit in her a fruit in her right hand, and rests her left hand onto top of Christs’ head. Christ is seated frontally with his hands on his lap. The figures sit upon a foliated capital. The back of the throne on which they sit is decorated two horizontal bands of zig-zag ornamen. The top of the Virgin’s head is pierced.

The long, curved form of the gravoir, and the stylised capital is reminiscent of supposed fourteenth-fifteenth century Italian examples, such as those found at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (7500-1861), the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin (F 995), the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence (135 C), and the Musée du Louvre, Paris (OA 157).

Purchased by Sir William Burrell from John Hunt, 27th April, 1934.

Credit Line/Donor

Gifted by Sir William and Lady Burrell to the City of Glasgow, 1944


Burrell Collection: Ivories, Bone, Horn etc

ID Number



Burrell Collection

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