About this object

Ivory diptych commemorating Clementinus for AD 513. A diptych consists of two leaves, hinged together. The inner sides are sunken panels, originally containing wax; the outer sides are elaborately carved. The wax would have been inscribed with a formal letter of notification or invitation. At some point, probably in the later eighteenth century, the panels were mounted in reverse order in a marquetry frame.

Recto, left panel: Clementinus as consul, seated on a stool with lion heads and lions' feet, the cushion and seat shown face on rather than in perspective. The consul's feet are on a two-tiered footstool. In Clementinus' right hand, the mappa (piece of cloth) used to start the consular games; in his left hand, a sceptre with the emperor's head. To the left, the figure of Constantinople; to the right, the figure of Rome, each standing in front of a Corinthian column. Named Clementinus (in Latin and Greek) above his head. Medallions of the empress Ariadne to the left and emperor Anastasius to the right above, with a cross between. In the lower part of the panel, two barefooted youths pour out sacks of coins, with ingots and silver laurel leaves.

Recto, right panel: iconography is identical with the left panel with only minor stylistic differences.

Verso right and left panels: the reverse of both panels was inscribed in the later 8th century with prayers that are a good and early example of the reuse of a consular diptych in the Christian liturgy. The text consists of an excerpt from the Greek liturgy, a prayer for John, priest of St Agatha, and (in another hand) prayers on behalf of Pope Hadrian I (being pope 772-95), Andrew Machera and John the priest. The reference to Hadrian I as, ‘patriarch of the city’, suggest that these church donors lived in Rome and that the likely recipient is the church of St Agatha in Surbura, otherwise called St Agata dei Goti, in the centre of Rome, north-east of the forum of Trajan. A Greek community may have been established there in the 8th century.

The diptych was in the collection of Joachim Negelein of Nürnberg (1675-1749) in the mid-18th century, and then the collection of Count Mihály Wiczay of Hédervár in south-west Hungary at the end of the century. Wiczay in turn sold it to Gabor Fejérváry in 1834. Fejérváry (1781-1851) was born in the modern-day Slovak Republic. In 1851 Fejérváry's collection was bequeathed to his nephew, Ferenc Pulszky, who sold the collection to Joseph Mayer in 1855.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Late Antique
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Asia: Western Asia: Turkey: Istanbul
  • Date made
    513 AD
  • Materials
    Tooth Ivory Elephant; Wood
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Joseph Mayer
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
    1749 before
  • Measurements
    440 mm x 360 mm x 24 mm
  • Related people
    Gabor Fejérváry ( Previous owner); Joseph Mayer ( Collector, previous owner); Joachim Negelein ( Previous owner); Ferenc Pulszky ( Previous owner); Mihaly Viczay ( Previous owner)

Explore related


  • A superb collection of ivories, homeless since the raids of 1941, now exhibited in London

    Publisher: The Illustrated London News
    Date: 1954-09-25
    Description: A review of the exhibition of ivory and bone objects from the Joseph Mayer collection, on exhibition for six months from 18th September 1954 at the British Museum, London.

  • Art Treasures in Manchester: 150 years on

    Hunt, Tristram; Whitfield, Victoria

    Author: Hunt, Tristram; Whitfield, Victoria
    Publisher: Philip Wilson Publishers; Manchester Art Gallery
    Date: 2007
    Description: Published on the occasion of the exhibiiton 'Art Treasures In Manchester: 150 years on', held at Manchester Art Gallery from 6 October 2007 to 27 January 2008.

  • Aurea Romana. Dalla città pagana alla città cristiana

    Publisher: 'L'Erma' di Bretschneider
    Date: 2000

  • Byzantium 330-1453

    Publisher: Royal Academy of Arts
    Date: 2008

  • Byzantium. Treasures of Byzantine Art and Culture

    Publisher: British Museum Press
    Date: 1994
    Description: Accompanied an exhibition of the same name held at the British Museum.

  • Caritas

    Publisher: Michael Imhof Verlag GmbH&Co KG
    Date: 2015

  • Catalogue of the Fejérváry Ivories, in the Museum of Joseph Mayer, Esq., F.S.A.

    Pulszky, F

    Author: Pulszky, F
    Date: 1856

  • Constantinopolis und Roma. Stadtpersonifikationen der Spätantike

    Bühl, Gudrun

    Author: Bühl, Gudrun
    Publisher: AKANTHVS
    Date: 1995

  • Die Spiele spätantiker Senatoren und Consuln, ihre Diptychen und ihre Geschenke

    Engemann, J

    Author: Engemann, J
    Publisher: Reichert Verlag
    Date: 2008

  • Exhibition of Greek Art

    Publisher: Libraries, Museums and Arts Committee of the Corporation of Liverpool
    Date: 1934
    Description: Catalogue of an exhibition of Greek art held at the Walker Art Gallery, Liveropool, February 12th - March 10th 1934

  • Ivories

    Maskell, Alfred

    Author: Maskell, Alfred
    Publisher: Charles E Tuttle Co
    Date: 1966
    Description: A reprint of Alfred Maskell's 'Ivories', originally published in 1915

  • Lexicon iconographicum mythologiae classicae

    Publisher: Artemis
    Date: 1981

  • Liverpool Ivories: Special Exhibition

    Publisher: The Trustees of the British Museum
    Date: 1954
    Description: Catalogue of an exhibiton of ivory carvings lent by the City of Liverpool Public Museums, mostly from the Mayer-Fejervary collection.

  • On the Manchester Art-treasures Exhibition

    Scharf, G

    Author: Scharf, G
    Date: 1858
    Description: Article within the Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire.

  • Otto der Grosse und das Roemische Reich. Kaisertum von der Antike zum Mittelalter

    Publisher: Schnell und Steiner; Kulturhistorisches Museum Magdeburg
    Date: 2012
    Description: Catalogue to accompany the exhibition 'Otto der Grosse und das Roemische Reich. Kaisertum von der Antike zum Mittelalter', held in the Kulturhistorischen Museum Magdeburg from 27.8.2012 to 9.12.2012. The exhibition commemorated 1100 years since the birth of Otto der Grosse (Otto the Great).

  • Redating the consular ivory of Orestes

    Netzer, N

    Author: Netzer, N
    Date: 1983-05

  • Representations of Early Byzantine Empresses: Image and Empire

    McClanan, Anne

    Author: McClanan, Anne
    Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
    Date: 2002

  • The Consular Image: An Iconological Study of the Consular Diptychs

    Olovsdottir, C

    Author: Olovsdottir, C
    Publisher: John and Erica Hedges Ltd
    Date: 2005

  • The Liverpool Ivories: Late Antique and Medieval Ivory and Bone Carving in Liverpool Museum and the Walker Art Gallery

    Gibson, Margaret

    Author: Gibson, Margaret
    Publisher: HMSO; National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside
    Date: 1994
    Description: Catalogue of ivory and bone carvings from late antique and medieval held in collections of Liverpool Museum and the Walker Art Gallery.


  • Liverpool Ivories

    Start date: 1954-09-18
    End date: 1954-09-18
    Description: A temporary exhibition of 56 ivory carvings lent by the City of Liverpool Public Museums (now National Museums Liverpool) to the British Museum, London. The exhibition was organised by the department of Archaeology, Liverpool Museum (Elaine Tankard) and the department of British and Medieval Antiquities of the British Museum (P. Lasko). Some British Museum ivories which offer particularly close parallels with the Liverpool pieces were placed beside one another. The exhibition was held in the King Edward VII Gallery between 18 September 1954 and 3 September 1955 (extended from 5 March 1955) and an illustrated catalogue was published which cost 1s. 6d.

  • Byzantium 330-1453

    Start date: 2008-10-25
    End date: 2008-10-25
    Description: A temporary exhibition, a collaboration between the Royal Academy of Arts and the Benaki Museum in Athens, which covered a survey of Byzantine art between the city's foundation in AD 330 to its fall in 1453. The exhibition incorporated over 300 objects, and was held at the Royal Academy of Arts in London from 25th October 2008 until 22nd March 2009. The exhibition was accompanied by an illustrated catalogue raisonné and series of essays on various themes.

  • Byzantium. Treasures of Byzantine Art and Culture from British Collections

    Start date: 1994
    End date: 1994
    Description: A temporary exhibition which covered a survey of Byzantine art between the city's foundation in AD 330 to its fall in 1453. The exhibition incorporated over 250 objects, and was held at the British Museum in London in 1994. The exhibition was accompanied by an illustrated catalogue raisonné.

  • Aurea Roma. Dalla Città Pagana alla Città Cristiana

    Start date: 2000-12-22
    End date: 2000-12-22
    Description: A temporary exhibition organised by the omune di Roma, Assesorato alle Politiche Culturali and the Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturali and held at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome. Curated by Serena Ensoli and Eugenio La Rocca, it included nearly 380 artefacts from more than 80 institutions and private collections. The exhibition was accompanied by an illustrated book of essays and a catalogue raisonné

  • Art Treasures in Manchester: 150 years on

    Start date: 2007-10-06
    End date: 2007-10-06
    Description: Held in 1857 in Manchester, art Treasures of the United Kingdom' featured over 16,000 exhibits of the most important historic and modern art ever displayed. 150 years on, Manchester Art Gallery celebrated this extraordinary achievement in an anniversary exhibition.


Previous owners

  • Joseph Mayer

    Owned from: 1855
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1867
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Ferenc Pulszky

    Owned from: 1851-11-02
    How acquired: Inherited
    Owned until: 1855
    Disposal method: Auctioned
  • Gabor Fejérváry

    Owned from: 1834
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1851-11-02
    Disposal method: Bequest
  • Mihaly Viczay

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1834
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Joachim Negelein

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
Have 11 place tagsPage load time: 278 ms