Oliphant, Ivory, carved; gilded silver and bronze mounts


12th–13th century
Attributed to Southern Italy
Ivory, carved; gilded silver and bronze mounts
Overall: L. 17 1/8 (43.5 cm)
W. 3 1/4 in. (8.2 cm)
D. 2 5/8 in. (6.6 cm)
Min. Diam. 1 3/16 in. (3 cm)
Ivories and Bone
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
Not on view
Baron Albert Oppenheim, Cologne (by 1904; cat., 1904, no. 66); J. Pierpont Morgan (American), New York (until d. 1913; his estate 1913–17; gifted to MMA)
Ann Arbor. University of Michigan. "The Meeting of Two Worlds: The Crusades and the Mediterranean Context," May 9, 1981–September 27, 1981, no. 42.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Nature of Islamic Ornament, Part IV: Figural Representation," September 16, 1999–January 30, 2000, no catalogue.

Heider, Gustav. Mittelalterliche Kunstdenkmale des Österreichischen Kaiserstaates. Stuttgart, 1858–1860. no. vol. 2, p. 126 ff.

Westwood, J. O. "South Kensington Museum." In A Descriptive Catalogue of the Fictile Ivories in the South Kensington Museum, with an account of the Continental Collections of Classical and Mediaeval Ivories. London, 1876. p. 440, The description of the fifth example ("from Kloster Limberg") mentioned could fit ours, or, if the fifth example be in Berlin, as implied, a similar and companion one.

"Catalogue Possenti de Fabriano." In Objects de Art et de Curiosite. Vol. 1-2. Florence: Possenti de Fabriano, 1880. no. 3, p. 13, ill. figs. 105-106, Illustration of wo similar oliphants.

Molinier, Emile. Collection du Baron A. Oppenheim: Tableaux et objets d'art. Paris, 1904. no. 66, p. 30, ill. pl. L.

Hampel, Jozsef. Alterthümer des Frühen Mittelalters in Ungarn. Vol. vols. 1-3. Braunschweig, 1905. vol. 2, pp. 888 ff, ill. v. 3 pls. 532-37, Related objects.

Migeon, Gaston. "Les Arts Plastiques et Industriels." In Manuel d'Art Musulman. vol. 2. Paris: Alphonse Picard et Fils, 1907. p. 151, ill. fig. 135, Compare for similar metalwork: little coffer in St. Mark's, Venice. Also p. 173, fig. 149, box with Christian subjects in the V. and A. Museum, London (Ex coll. Henderson).

Guide to the Loan exhibition of the J. Pierpont Morgan collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1914. pp. 10, 13, ill.

"Accessions and Notes." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 15 (1920). p. 17, no. 1 (b/w).

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 128.

Kühnel, Ernst, and J. & S. Goldschmidt. Die Islamische Elfenbeinskulpturen VII–XIII Jahrhundert. no. 30. Berlin: Deutscher Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, 1971. no. 74, pp. 16-21, 23, 60, 61, ill. pl. LXXIII.

Les Ivoires: Deuxième Partie: Antiquité, Islam, Inde, Chine, Japon, Afrique Noire, Régions Polaires, Amérique. vol. 137. Paris: Tardy, 1977. p. 128, ill.

Bornstein, Christine Verzar. "The Crusades and the Mediterranean Context." In The Meeting of Two Worlds. Ann Arbor, 1981. no. 42, p. 67, ill. (b/w).

Shalem, Avinoam. "Islamic Objects in Historical Context." In The Oliphant. Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2004. pp. 61-62.