Date: ca. 950–75
Geography: Made in Cordoba, Andalusia, Spain
Medium: Elephant ivory
Dimensions: Overall: 4 5/8 x 4 1/8 in. (11.7 x 10.5 cm)
Credit Line: The Cloisters Collection, 1970
Accession Number: 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.