Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Furniture Plaque

Object Name:
7th–8th century
From Egypt
Bone; carved
D. 13/16 in. (2 cm)
W. 1 15/16 in. (5 cm)
H. 6 7/16 in. (16.4 cm)
Ivories and Bone
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1938
Accession Number:
Not on view
These plaques, one with an unusual purple hue, were attached to wooden furniture with nails or pegs. They are made from the cylindrical shafts of animal bones sawn in half and carved on the smooth outer side. Both examples have the same motif: two vines twisted together that blossom into leaves at their tops under a pointed arch.
[ Frank Tano, New York, until 1938; sold to MMA]
Wulff, Oskar. Altchristliche und Mittlealterliche Byzantinische und Italienische Bildwerke. vol. III, part 1. Belin, 1909. no. nos. 634-635.

Longhurst, M. H., and Victoria and Albert Museum. "Part 1 Up to the Thirteenth Century." In Catalogue of Carvings in Ivory. Vol. part 1. London, 1927. p. 25, ill. fig. 5.

McAllister, Hannah. "Fourteen Coptic Bone Plaques." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 34 (1939). pp. 68-70, similar pieces.

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