Ivory is an ideal material for small devotional sculptures: its resiliency permits fine detailing while its natural translucency imparts a gleaming aura to objects. Terilli specialized in carving ivory crucifixes: at least eight survive. They date from around 1600 onwards, placing them at the beginning of the Baroque taste for ivory crucifixes, which became especially strong in Flanders and southern Germany in the course of the seventeenth century.
Ralph Curtis found this crucifix in Venice for Mrs. Gardner. She placed it in her boudoir in her Beacon Street house. At Fenway Court it was placed on the altar in the Long Gallery Chapel, in front of the Soissons window.
Source: Eye of the Beholder, edited by Alan Chong et al. (Boston: ISGM and Beacon Press, 2003): 110.