Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Casket; one of four panels; ivory, carved in relief with the Death of Judas and the Crucifixion: to the left, Judas hangs from tree; below him the purse from which fall pieces of silver; to the right Christ is nailed by the hands only to the cross, his feet unsupported, at the back of his head an engraved nimbus; above his head a titulus with inscription; to the right a soldier (Longinus) in the act of piercing Christ's side with a spear; on the left stand the Virgin and St John.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 420-430 (circa)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 75 millimetres
    • Width: 102 millimetres
    • Weight: 106 grammes
    • Depth: 77 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

        REX IVD
  • Curator's comments

    Published: F. Harley McGowan, The Maskell Passion Ivories and Greco-Roman Art, In: J. Mullins, J. Ní Ghrádaigh and R. Hawtree (eds.), Envisioning Christ on the Cross: Ireland and the Early Medieval West, Dublin, 2013, 13-33; K. Weitzmann (ed.), Age of Spirituality (exh. cat.), New York, 1978, no 452; Exh. cat., Spätantike und frühes Christentum (Liebieghaus Museum alter Plastik), Frankfurt, 1983, no 267. Part of 1856,0623.4-7


  • Bibliography

    • Foletti 2017 bibliographic details
    • Eastmond 2013 047 bibliographic details
    • Volbach 1976 116 bibliographic details
    • Marzinzik 2013 15 bibliographic details
    • Dalton 1901 291 bibliographic details
    • Weitzmann 1979 452 bibliographic details
    • Spier et al. 2007 57 bibliographic details
    • Dalton 1909 7 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G41/dc8/sA

  • Exhibition history


    2011 23 June-9 Oct, London, BM, Treasures of Heaven
    2007 18 Nov-2008 30 Mar, USA, Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, Picturing the Bible: The Earliest Christian Art
    2000 23 Feb-7 May, London, The National Gallery, Seeing Salvation: The Image of Christ
    1996 30 Mar-13 Nov, Italy, Rimini, Sala dell’Arengo, Dalla Terra Alle Genti
    1983-1984 15 Dec-11 Mar, Germany, Frankfurt, Städtische Galerie Liebieghaus, Late Antiquity and Early Christianity
    1981 27 Feb-4 May, France, Paris, Musee de Luxembourg, A l'Aube de France, la Gaule de Constantin a Childeric
    1980 12 Oct-15 Dec, Germany, Mainz, Gallien in der Spatantike
    1977-1978 18 Nov-12 Feb, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Early Christian Art

  • Condition

    The middle section of the tree is a restoration; the spear is broken; the engraved nimbus may be a later addition.

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: MCB2148

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help