Spanish; Made in Andalusia
Ivory; H. 4 5/8 in. (11.8 cm), Diam. 4 1/8 in. (10.6 cm)
The Cloisters Collection, 1970 (1970.324.5)
The pyxis (round box) cut from the cross-section of an elephant's tusk, was a well-known form of ivory object in the Mediterranean area. The missing lid of this example, shaped as a low dome with a finial on top, would likely have had an inscription on it, perhaps giving a date or the name of the owner of the piece. Used principally in a secular context, in the Islamic world pyxides, call ushnan in Arabic, contained precious aromatics such as musk, camphor, and ambergris.