These 16th Century Boxwood Carvings Are So Tiny Researchers Used X-Ray To Study Them

There are only 135 known miniature boxwood carvings around the world and they have been puzzling art specialists. Recently, researchers some of these tiny religious pieces from museums and private collections to further study their mystery.

Researchers took these 500-year-old miniature boxwood carvings to the lab to find out their secrets.

They think these wooden carvings were made during only a brief time frame, between 1500 and 1530 either in Flanders or the Netherlands.

The details are so tiny the human eye isn’t able to analyze them.

So researchers used micro-CT scanning and Advanced 3D Analysis Software to find out how intricate the pieces really are
Photography by Ian Lefebvre

Photography by Ian Lefebvre


They found joints in the inner layers so tiny and pins smaller than a grass seed that only a microscope or an X-ray can detect them.


However, much of the production process remains unknown.

Because traces of gold and other decoration materials conceal the X-ray views.

The miniatures were a result of a rising new social class in Europe that created a demand for these high-quality portable religious carvings.
Photography by Craig Boyko

Photography by Craig Boyko

However, soon the Reformation began and a lot of church-related accessories went out of fashion.

More at: ago. ca | YouTube | colossal

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