The Oliphant: Islamic Objects in Historical Context
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.
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State of Research
The Physical CharacteristicConstants of the Material
The Picture the Sources Illustrate
Cutting and CarvingThe Making of Oliphants
II The Stylistic Groups
Iconography of Motifs
Oliphants in Church Treasuries
II Why and how were they Accepted?
III How were they Used and Displayed?
Folk Tales Associated with Oliphants
12th century Aachen Abbasid animals appears Arabic artefacts associated Berlin body Byzantine Cairo Cappella Palatina carved ivory Carved wooden panel Cathedral centre chapter church treasuries concerning Courtesy decorative band depicted detail of fig Deutsches Archäologisches Institut discussion East Africa Ebitz Egypt elephant tusks elephant’s Elfenbein Elfenbeinskulpturen especially example exhibition catalogue Fatimid art Fatimid style Harrowing of Hell Ibid iconography idem inscription ISBN 90 Islamic Art Islamic Museum ivory carving ivory horn ivory tusks King Kühnel Archive Kunst Kunstgeschichte Le Puy-en-Velay Lehmann-Brockhaus literary sources Louvre mainly Mamluk medallions medieval Islamic medieval oliphants Mediterranean mentioned method of carving Metropolitan Museum Middle Ages motifs Musée Musée de Cluny Museum of Islamic Muslim Norman Sicily Oliphant detail oliphant’s oliphants of group Paris plate probably relics Roland Rolandslied royal Saracenic Saracenic oliphants scene scrolls Shalem so-called South Italy specific stylistic suggests symbol tion tribute tusks Ulph upper zone detail York