Bookbinding depicting Panel of Bishop Baldric


About this object

Carved rectangular panel, an element of the binding of a book. The ivory shows a seated Bishop Baldric, identified by the inscription at the top PIO PRAESVLE / BALLDRICO IVBENTE (translated as by the devour command of Bishop Baldric). The Bishop is flanked by two helmeted figures in the upper register, the figures of Rome and Constantinople with a garland above them. There is no attempt to christianise the figures of the Bishop or the flanking figures. The Bishop is represented as a Roman consul and this kind of representation fits the ideology of Otto III (983-1002) and the imperial court of the first half of the 11th century. In the lower part of the ivory, two figures pouring largesse. The design with the consul and the representation of charity is in the family of consular diptychs from Areobindus (506 AD) to that of Probus Magnus (518 AD) also seen in M10036. It is uncertain which Bishop Baldric is represented: Baldric of Speyer (970-987) or Baldric of Unltecht (918-977). Margaret Gibson suggested Baldric II, Bishop of Liege (1008-18) because Liege was already established from the times of Bishop Notker (969-1008) as a major city in the Empire and a great area of book production and luxury binding. Notker had already commissioned a luxury binding set with an autobiographical ivory panel. The inscription is in the tradition of Sapphic rhymes easily fit into the mileu of Leuge in the first quarter of the 11th century.
The back of the ivory has two nails on the upper right edge and two holes on the lower right edge. There are also three lines in ink, 19th century ones and not legible and ending in Baldricus.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Early Medieval
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Western Europe: Belgium: Liège
  • Date made
    10th Century AD - 11th Century AD
  • Materials
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Weston Discovery Centre
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Joseph Mayer
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
    1836 before
  • Measurements
    355 mm x 130 mm x 5.5 mm
  • Note
    An ivory diptych in the Bibliotheque Nationale Paris (Cabinet des Medailles) from the Probus Magnus panel may be the prototype for M10037 and for another whalebone ivory in Paris.
  • Related people
    Gabor Fejérváry ( Previous owner); Joseph Mayer ( Collector, previous owner); Ferenc Pulszky ( Previous owner)

Explore related


  • 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

  • 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

  • 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: 1836
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1851-11-02
    Disposal method: Bequest
Object view = Humanities
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