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Double-Sided Ivory Liturgical Comb with Scenes of Henry II and Thomas Becket

ca. 1200–1210

Liturgical crests were used by priests before Mass began. This crest with two scenes from the life of St. Thomas Becket - one showing Henry II appointing him Archbishop of Canterbury and the other his martyrdom - is remarkable for the accuracy of the events depicted. The classifying naturalism of the figures and the floral ornamentation are important features of the Gothic style of English art circa 1200.