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Morgan Casket

Object Name:
Casket
Date:
11th–12th century
Geography:
Southern Italy
Culture:
Norman Italy
Medium:
Ivory; carved
Dimensions:
Overall: H. 8 7/8 in. (22.3 cm) W. 15 3/16 in. (38.6 cm) D. 7 7/8 in. (20 cm) Lid: H. 2 3/4 in. (7 cm) W. 14 5/16 in. (36.4 cm) D. 8 1/16 in. (20.5 cm) Container: H. 5 5/16 in. (13.5 cm) W. 15 3/16 in. (38.6 cm) D. 8 7/8 in. (22.5 cm)
Classification:
Ivories and Bone
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.241
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 457
One of the most accomplished examples of carved ivory known from Norman Italy, the so-called "Morgan casket" is also one of the clearest expressions of the international artistic milieu in which it was created. Pairs of men in turbans and tunics stand guard at the corners of the casket, recalling in style and programmatic use similar figures on the ceiling of the Cappella Palatina at Palermo. Medallions on the side panels are filled with fantastic beasts and birds, which are hunted by men with spears.
G. Vermeersch, Brussels(in 1882); [ Bourgeois Frères, Cologne, until 1904; sale, Krings andLempertz, Cologne, October 27–29, 1904, no. 1055]; [ Galerie A. Imbert, Rome, until 1910; sold to Morgan]; J. Pierpont Morgan, New York (1910–d. 1913; his estate 1913–17; gifted to MMA)
Basilewsky, A., and A. Darcel. Collection Basilewsky : catalogue raisonné précédé d'un essai sur les art industriels du Ier au XVIe siècle. vol. 1-2. Paris, 1874. no. 51, p. 15, ill. pl. X, see also casket in Cathedral at Bayeux.

Guide to the Loan exhibition of the J. Pierpont Morgan collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1914. p. 8.

Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 2 ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1929. p. 52.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Mohammedan Decorative Arts. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1930. p. 101, ill. fig. 46 (b/w).

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 129, ill. fig. 73 (b/w).

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 3rd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1958. p. 129.

Jenkins-Madina, Marilyn. "Muslim: An Early Fatimid Ceramist." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, New Series, vol. 26 (May 1968). pp. 262-263, ill. fig. 12 (b/w).

Weitzmann, Kurt. "Ivories and Steatites." In Catalogue of the Byzantine and Early Mediaeval Antiquities in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection. vol. 3. Washington D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 1972. p. 8, ill. fig. 40.

Kühnel, Ernst, and J. & S. Goldschmidt. Die Islamische Elfenbeinskulpturen VII–XIII Jahrhundert. no. 30. Berlin: Deutscher Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, 1971. no. 84, pp. 19-23, 28, 62, 65, 67, 70, 72, ill. pls. 84, 86.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries: the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1970. no. 129, p. 159, ill. (b/w).

Shalem, Avinoam. "Islamic Objects in Historical Context." In The Oliphant. Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2004. p. 63, ill. fig. 60.

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 39, pp. 4, 15, 55, 70-71, 137, ill. p. 71 (color).



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