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Siculo-Arabic, Sicily or Southern Italy, 12th century
CASKET DECORATED WITH HORSEMEN AND ANIMALS
JUMP TO LOT
1
Siculo-Arabic, Sicily or Southern Italy, 12th century
CASKET DECORATED WITH HORSEMEN AND ANIMALS
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master Sculpture & Works of Art

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London

Siculo-Arabic, Sicily or Southern Italy, 12th century
CASKET DECORATED WITH HORSEMEN AND ANIMALS
partially polychromed ivory with gilt copper mounts, on a modern wood core 
16 by 32 by 18.5cm., 6¼ by 12 3/8  by 7¼in.
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Catalogue Note

The present work belongs to a group of Sicilian caskets believed to have been made in Palermo by Muslim craftsmen during the 12th-century Norman occupation. The tear-shaped mounts act both as highly decorative features of the whole and as supports for the delicate and fragile ivory walls which originally would have been unlined. They were painted with designs which appear to be divided into five groups: abstract designs, floral motifs, animal and bird motifs, human figures and imaginary creatures.

An analagous casket was sold in these rooms on 7 December 2010, lot 1. Another example was also sold at Sotheby's on 9 April 2008, lot 83. Other Siculo-Arabic caskets can be found in major institutions including the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore (inv. no. 71.310) and the Doha Museum (inv. no. iv.03.97).

RELATED LITERATURE
R. Koechlin, Les ivoires gothiques français, Paris, 1924, vol. I, p. 473, no. 2; R. H. Randall Jr, Masterpieces of Ivory From the Walters Art Gallery, London, 1985, no. 232, pp. 158-159; M. Rosser-Owen, Ivory 8th to 17th centuries: Treasures from the Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar, Doha, 2004, no. 5, pp. 24-29

Old Master Sculpture & Works of Art

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London