The Medieval World at our Fingertips View publication
Ivory carvings are among the most beautiful achievements of medieval art. They reflect not only the deeply religious nature of the medieval world but also express the consummate skill and highly creative minds of those who carved them. The English craftsmen of the Early Middle Ages produced such renowned masterpieces as the Bury St Edmunds Cross and the Lewis Chessmen. John Beckwith provides a definitive study of English ivory carving from 700-1200 AD, which describes and illustrates over 160 carvings. He places the ivories in relation to contemporary illuminated manuscripts and enamel work. Through fascinating and lively portraits of some of the abbots and bishops who were the great patrons of their time, and in particular, Henry of Blois, bishop of Winchester, he places the art form firmly within its historical and cultural context.