Ivory casket decorated with painted saints

Victoria and Albert Museum1100/1200

British Museum

British Museum
London, United Kingdom

This ivory casket was made by Muslim artisans working at the court of a Christian Norman king in Sicily. They depict foliage, animals and musicians in a style from contemporary Islamic Cairo, but also two Christian saints identified by haloes, bishops’ staffs and bibles. The inscription is a supplication, asking for ‘the happiness of a bird, the height of esteem, and conditions which may lead to the right direction and infinite glory; and may the end be perfect and the glory lasting’


  • Title: Ivory casket decorated with painted saints
  • Creator: Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Date Created: 1100/1200
  • Location Created: Sicily or southern Italy
  • Medium: wood, ivory, paint, gilt

  • Copyright: Victoria and Albert Museum

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