Overall: 6 5/8 x 4 x 7/16 in. (16.8 x 10.2 x 1.1 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304
This plaque, which might have served as either an icon or a book cover, shows Christ holding a book with a Greek inscription, I am the door (John 10:9). The allegorical representation of Christ as the door of salvation was rare in both the Eastern and Western churches.
Inscription: Inscribed in Greek: I am the Door (in left hand open book); background IC XC.
Museo Kircheriano, Rome; [ Galerie Sangiorgi, Rome (sold 1911, to Morgan)]; J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (until 1917)
Westwood, J. O., ed. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Fictile Ivories in the South Kensington Museum, with an Account of the Continental Collection of Classical and Medieval Ivories. London: South Kensington Museum, 1876. p. 356.
"The Pierpont Morgan Gift." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 13, no. 1 (January 1918). ill. p. 4.
Goldschmidt, Adolph, and Kurt Weitzmann. Die Byzantinischen Elfenbeinskulpturen des X.-XIII. Jahrhunderts. Vol. 2. Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1934. no. 64, pp. 14-17, 44, pl. XXIV, fig. 64.
Evans, Helen C., and William D. Wixom, ed. The Glory of Byzantium: Art and Culture of the Middle Byzantine Era, A.D. 843–1261. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997. no. 325, p. 491.