Plaque Decorated with Vine Scroll, Birds, and a Rabbit
Made in Egypt or Syria
5 7/8 x 2 3/4 in. (15 x 7 cm)
Benaki Museum, Athens (10411)
Not on view
Carvings on ivory or bone were often used in the eastern Mediterranean as attachments for furniture and other objects. These plaques, which vary in style, reflect the continuation of Byzantine vine patterns into the early Islamic era. Most are carved on a vertical axis and are at times inhabited by animals. On this plaque, drill holes decorate the flowers, grape clusters, and birds, encouraging the play of light and shadow over the surface.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th–9th Century)," March 12, 2012–July 8, 2012.