Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Reliquary Casket with the Deesis, Archangels, and the Twelve Apostles

Made in probablly in Constantinople
Ivory, with gilt-copper alloy mounts
Overall (with mounts): 2 13/16 x 7 3/16 x 4 1/4 in. (7.1 x 18.3 x 10.8 cm) Overall (without mounts): 2 5/8 x 7 3/16 x 4 in. (6.7 x 18.3 x 10.2 cm) Top: 7 3/16 x 3 13/16 x 3/8 in. (18.3 x 9.7 x 1 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 303
On the lid of the casket is a Deesis composition showing Christ enthroned in majesty, flanked by the Virgin, John the Forerunner (the Baptist), and archangels. Roundels containing portraits of saints, identified by carefully carved Greek inscriptions, decorate the sides of the casket.
Inscription: Inscribed in Greek: on the front, Saint Paul, Saint Peter, Saint James, Saint Andrew; on the right side, Saint Philip, Saint Thomas; on the back, Saint John, Saint Mark, Saint Luke, Saint Matthew; on the left side, Saint Bartholomew, Saint Simon; on the lid, Saint John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, Mother of God.
Pope Innocent IV (Sinibaldo Fieschi) ; Martin Hecksher, Vienna (d. 1897); his posthumous sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London (May 4, 1898, no. 194); Baron Albert Oppenheim, Cologne(sold 1906); J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (1906–1917)
Kunst-und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. "Byzanz: Pracht und Alltag," February 26, 2010–June 13, 2010.

Catalogue of the renowned Collection of Works of Art, chiefly of the 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries, formed by the late Martin Heckscher. London: Christie, Manson & Woods, May 4–6, 1898. no. 194, p. 38, ill. opp. p. 36.

Kunsthistorische Ausstellung, Düsseldorf 1902: Illustrirter Katalog. Düsseldorf: August-Bagel-Verlag, 1902. no. 1203, p. 106.

Molinier, Émile. Collection du Baron Albert Oppenheim: Tableaux et objets d'art, catalogue précédé d'une introduction. Paris: Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts, 1904. no. 64, p. 28, pl. XLIX.

Nye, Phila Calder. "The Oblong Caskets of the Byzantine Period." American Journal of Archaeology 23, no. 4 (October–December 1919). pp. 404, 409, 411, fig. 10.

Breck, Joseph. "Pre-Gothic Ivories in the Pierpont Morgan Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, o.s., 15, no. 1 (January 1920). p. 14.

Porter, Arthur Kingsley. Romanesque Sculpture of the Pilgrimage Roads. Vol. 1. Boston: Marshall Jones Company, 1923. p. 314 n. 1.

Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1929. p. 47.

Goldschmidt, Adolph, and Kurt Weitzmann. Die Byzantinischen Elfenbeinskulpturen des X.-XIII. Jahrhunderts. Vol. 1. Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1930. no. 100a-e, p. 57, fig. 100a-e, pl. LX.

Braun, Joseph. Die Reliquiare des christlichen Kultes und ihre Entwicklung. Freiburg im Breisgau: Verlag Herder, 1940. p. 154, pl. 18, fig. 65.

Randall Jr., Richard H. Masterpieces of Ivory from the Walters Art Gallery. Walters Art Gallery, 1985. p. 126.

Connor, Carolyn L. "New Perspectives on Byzantine Ivories." Gesta 30, no. 2 (1991). p. 107.

Quintavalle, Arturo Carlo, ed. Wiligelmo e Matilde: L'officina romanica. Mantova: Centro Internazionale d'Arte e di Cultura di Palazzo Te, 1991. no. 10b, p. 354.

Cutler, Anthony. The Hand of the Master: Craftsmanship, Ivory, and Society in Byzantium (9th–11th centuries). Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994. pp. 62, 146, 196–200, 270 n. 111, fig. 68, 219.

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. 78, p. 131.

Connor, Carolyn L. The Color of Ivory: Polychromy on Byzantine Ivories. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1998. pp. 25, 84, pl. XV.

Evans, Helen C., Melanie Holcomb, and Robert Hallman. "The Arts of Byzantium." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 58, no. 4 (Spring 2001). p. 51.

Connor, Carolyn L. "Color on Late Antique and Byzantine Ivories." In Spätantike und Byzantinische Elfenbeinbildwerke Im Diskurs, edited by Gudrun Bühl, Anthony Cutler, and Arne Effenberger. Spätantike – Frühes Christentum – Byzanz. Reihe B: Studien und Perspektiven, Vol. 24. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2008. p. 34, fig. 1, 2, pl. 6.

Frings, Jutta, ed. Byzanz: Pracht und Alltag. Bonn: Kunst-und Austellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 2010. no. 115, p. 197.

Williamson, Paul. Medieval Ivory Carvings: Early Christian to Romanesque. London: V & A Publications, 2010. p. 105.

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