On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 457

This small pentagonal ivory plaque depicts a bird set against foliage. The craftsman has carved lines on the body to indicate feathers and patterning, and holes bored into the surface may originally have been set with stones. Depictions of animal forms within framing devices were common decorative motifs in objects produced around the Mediterranean in the medieval period, and can be found ornamenting wood, textiles, ivory, metalwork and ceramics.
This piece is one of a pair in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art with 67.204.2. The iconography of these plaques suggest they may be a derivative of depictions of the four Christian evangelists; here it could be a representation of John, whose symbol is an eagle with four wings.

Plaque, Bone; carved and incised

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.