These 500-year-old boxwood miniatures from the 16th century are tiny religious carvings created in Flanders (Netherlands) that require researchers to view them using micro-CT scanning, Advanced 3D analysis Software, and even X-rays.
Market demand for profitable religious 16th-century carvings occurred in Europe before the Reformation period (1517-1648). When attempts to reform the Catholic Church and Protestant Churches took hold throughout Europe, church-related accessories were no longer in demand.
Curators and conservators of Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures an exhibition at The Art Gallery of Ontario used micro-CT scanning and 3D Analysis Software in order to analyze the tiny sculptures within the boxwood.
Some parts of the sculptures are tinier than grass seed. The production process remains a mystery and traces of gold and other decorations impede X-ray views.