About this object

Panel depicting St. John the Baptist.
The figure of St. John the Baptist (including his footstool and a section of the lower frame) has been mounted on an ivory background and frame, presumably in the 18th or 19th century. The inscritpion on the scroll has traces of red. John the Baptist, in long tunic with decorated belt, a cloak of skins and sandals, gestures with his right hand, holding in his left a scroll. The firgure has been cut from its original background to be seen free-standing. The elegantly-inscribed scroll is unique in the corpus of Byzantine ivories; the script is mid-11th century at the latest.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Early Medieval
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Asia: Western Asia: Turkey: Istanbul
  • Date made
    10th Century AD - 11th Century AD
  • Materials
    Elephant Tooth Ivory
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Joseph Mayer
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
    1844 before
  • Measurements
    239 mm x 102 mm x 10 mm
  • Related people
    Joseph Daniel Boehm ( Previous owner); 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • L'assorbimento della cultura Bizantina in Lombardia intorno al mille

    Tasso, F

    Author: Tasso, F
    Publisher: Jaca Books
    Date: 2000

  • 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 Hand of the Master

    Cutler, A

    Author: Cutler, A
    Publisher: Princeton University Press
    Date: 1994

  • 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. 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.


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
  • Joseph Daniel Boehm

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1844
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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