Date: 12th century

Geography: Made in Almalfi, Italy

Culture: South Italian

Medium: Ivory, metal mounts

Dimensions: Overall: 16 15/16 x 3 9/16 in. (43 x 9 cm)

Classification: Ivories

Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Accession Number: 17.190.218


Large decorated elephant tusks were used for both religious and secular purposes. They could be employed as drinking vessels, as horns to announce the hunt, or as symbols of feudal rights. Many were given to churches, and some served as reliquary containers. This example shows Christ as the Lamb of God.