Ivory Box with Scenes of Adam and Eve

Ivory Box with Scenes of Adam and Eve

1000-1100s

Ivory, wood

Overall: 14.3 x 46.7 x 20.3 cm (5 5/8 x 18 3/8 x 8 in.)

Gift of W. G. Mather, F. F. Prentiss, John L. Severance, J. H. Wade 1924.747

Fun Fact

Carved out of imported ivory by skilled craftsmen, boxes such as these were used by Byzantine elites to store luxury goods such as jewelry.

Description

Scenes from the Old Testament stories of Adam and Eve and their children, Cain and Abel, decorate this box, which may have been made to contain jewelry or small valuables. On its lid two plaques depict the creation of Adam and the creation of Eve from Adam’s rib. Two further plaques depict Cain slaying Abel: Cain throws a stone in the direction of Abel, who is hit by stones in the hip, chest, and head.

See also

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