Exhibitions/ Art Object

Pyxis with Vine Scrolls

7th–8th century
Made in Syria (?)
Ivory; metal rim around lid added later
H: 3 3/4 in. (9.5 cm); diam: 3 9/16 in. (9 cm)
Credit Line:
Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin—Skulpturensammlung und Museum für Byzantinische Kunst, Berlin (2977)
Not on view
Indicative of social status, these three circular, bellied-shape ivory boxes were luxury objects produced for the elite. Each is decorated with vine scrolls springing from pots, a Byzantine motif drawn from the world of the classical god Dionysos that was also popular during the early Islamic period.
This box, densely covered with vine scrolls growing from pots, would have been acceptable to any community living in the eastern Mediterranean.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th–9th Century)," March 12, 2012–July 8, 2012.