Two amber figures of the Apostles St. Peter and St. Simon the Zealot, North German, circa 1695.

Amber is an exotic and rare substance.

Craftsmen from the Baltic coastline of Germany specialised in the carving and working of small, devotional figures such as these, which, by 1680, could be found all over Europe.

These examples were purchased in Rome by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700) during his visit there for the Jubilee celebration in 1700.

St Peter is shown carrying the keys to Heaven. St Simon is shown with his attribute of a saw; a reference to his martyrdom by being sawn in half.

The figures are 11cm high, including pedestals.


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