Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Panels from an Ivory Casket with the Story of Adam and Eve

10th or 11th century
Made in Constantinople
Ivory, gilt, polychromy
Overall: 2 9/16 x 3 7/8 x 3/16 in. (6.5 x 9.9 x 0.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 300
This panel is one from a series of scenes of the lives of Adam and Eve that originally decorated a small box. On this panel Adam and Eve, identified with Greek inscriptions, work at a metal forge; on the other panel they harvest grain (see 17.190.138). Two intact caskets that show similar scenes of Adam and Eve's toil also display Ploutos, the personification of wealth-a reminder to the owner of the treasure stored in the casket that prosperity is a gift from God and that God favors those who repent of their sins.
Inscription: Inscribed: (incised at upper left) ADAM / (by Eve) EVA.
Ferenc Pulszky, Pest (in 1896); Julius Campe, Hamburg; [ Julius Böhler, Munich]; [ George Brauer, Paris (sold 1909)]; J. Pierpont Morgan (American), London and New York (1909–1913)
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