About this object

Ivory panel, an element of the binding of a book, depicting the Ascension.
Christ ascends to heaven in the presence of six disciples, who show varying human reactions; the two outer figures left and right, each holding a scroll, are dazzled; the central figures alarmed (left) and unwilling to let Christ go (right). Compared with the late Antiquities Ascension, the tree still gives a sense of height; but Christ has lost touch with the ground, his sandals and scroll are gone, and the additional cloak in his right hand only prevents his grasping the Hand of God. His posture is a compromise between looking towards heaven and turning back to the onlookers below. The image is deeply sunk in a plain acanthus frame with narrow inner strip and slightly wider outer edge.

The panel has been acquired by Gabor Fejérváry (1781-1851), born in the modern-day Slovak Republic, by 1844. 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
    Early Medieval (Carolingian)
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Western Europe: France
  • Date made
    9th Century AD
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Joseph Mayer
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
    1844 before
  • Measurements
    93 mm x 61 mm x 5 mm
  • Related people
    Gabor Fejérváry ( Previous owner); Joseph Mayer ( Collector, previous owner); Ferenc Pulszky ( 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.

  • Ancient Art. The Challenge to Modern Thought

    Laing, Lloyd; Laing, Jennifer

    Author: Laing, Lloyd; Laing, Jennifer
    Publisher: Irish Academic Press
    Date: 1993

  • Ars Sacra: 800-1200

    Lasko, Peter

    Author: Lasko, Peter
    Publisher: Penguin Books
    Date: 1972
    Description: A review of reliquaries and shrines, book binding and ivory carvings, goldsmith's work and bronze casting from the Early Middle Ages

  • Catalogue of Mediaeval & Later Antiquities contained in the Mayer Museum including the Mather collection of miniatures and medals relating to the Bonaparte family

    Gatty, Charles T

    Author: Gatty, Charles T
    Date: 1883
    Description: Catalogue of most of Joseph Mayer's medieval and post-medieval collection, which was either gifted by Mayer in 1867 or purchased from the Mayer Museum Duplicate Fund. The catalogue also lists the Mather Collection, which was left to the city of Liverpool in 1872 by Mr. John Mather, who obtained it in the first instance by purchase from Mayer. The collection of French Revolution badges and medals was purchased in 1870.

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

    Pulszky, F

    Author: Pulszky, F
    Date: 1856

  • 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.

  • 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.


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: 1844
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1851-11-02
    Disposal method: Bequest
Object view = Humanities
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