The Oliphant: Islamic Objects in Historical Context

Front Cover
BRILL, Jan 1, 2004 - Design - 157 pages
Setting a group of medieval carved ivory horns in the specific artistic and historical context in which they were manufactured, used and re-used, this book presents a mine of information for the study of medieval history. The first chapters explore such technical aspects as the cutting and carving of oliphants, and also the broader issues of the morphology of ivory and its availability in the Mediterranean basin in the Middle Ages. On the basis of specific carving methods and varying vocabulary of motifs, the oliphants are organized into groups and their probable sites of production are suggested. The core of this volume, however, is the attempt to place them in their specific historical context. The purpose of their mass-production, namely their patronage and original function, is explored, but also their reception and new functions in the church treasuries of Latin Europe is broadly discussed.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Prologue
3
State of Research
8
IvoryThe Substance
13
The Physical CharacteristicConstants of the Material
14
The Picture the Sources Illustrate
18
Cutting and CarvingThe Making of Oliphants
38
Stylistic Classification
50
II The Stylistic Groups
61
Imperial Associations
88
Iconography of Motifs
97
Oliphants in Church Treasuries
107
II Why and how were they Accepted?
117
III How were they Used and Displayed?
125
Folk Tales Associated with Oliphants
130
Epilogue
136
Bibliography
139

Worksites or Workshops?
67
Function and Meaning
80
II Iconography of the Material
82

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

Avinoam Shalem, Ph.D. (1995), History of Art, University of Edinburgh, is Professor of Islamic Art at Munich University. He has published extensively on Islamic 'minor arts' including Islam Christianized (Peter Lang, 1998).

Bibliographic information