Ivory casket

Ivory casket

Ivory casket
975–1000
Byzantine Empire
Museum no. 5471-1859

The Byzantine empire also had an important ivory-carving tradition, and knowledge of this may have inspired Abd al-Rahman III (reigned 912-61) to create his own industry. The Córdoban ivories were sent out as diplomatic gifts, and it is likely that ivories similar to the previous example were sent as gifts to the Byzantine emperor. They must have been appreciated in Constantinople: while most Byzantine ivories feature religious or mythological subjects, a few examples like this one are carved all over with curling leaves, which suggests the influence of Islamic caskets from Córdoba.