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Fragment of Box (Pyxis) with Revelers

Ivory comes from elephant tusks and was a valuable commodity throughout the Near East and eastern Mediterranean. Along with bones from other large mammals, ivory was often used for small sculpture and sculptural reliefs. Although it is very dense and difficult to carve, it is capable of supporting fine details and high polish. Especially popular in the Roman and Byzantine eras, it was also used to make personal luxury items, such as combs and pins. This curved relief fragment is part of a box that was used to store jewelry or cosmetics.

Roman
Fragment of Box (Pyxis) with Revelers
Imperial period, 2nd–4th century AD
Ivory
H. 4 3/16 in. (10.6 cm), w. 3 5/16 in. (8.5 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, V. G. Simkhovitch Collection, 63.105.89