Pyxis with Painted Designs

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 457

A popular type of ivory container produced in medieval Sicily was composed of ivory sheets, often nailed together with ivory pegs, and decorated with designs painted in tempera colors, a technique both faster and more economical than carving. On this pyxis, the decoration is now largely faded, but includes lions, arabesques, and floral scrolls. The gilded silver attachments on this example are thought to be original.

Pyxis with Painted Designs, Ivory; painted, gilded copper alloy mounts

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