The European Decorative Arts Company is proud to present an outstanding collection of European Ivory Carvings from the 17th through the 19th centuries. The group of ivory sculptures featured on this website reflect many of the major art movements that took place in Europe, from the Baroque and Neo-classical, through the Romantic and Historicist periods. Our collection includes works by celebrated artists such as Froment Meurice, Anton Diessl, Duvinage, Maison Alphonse Giroux, and Wilhelm Schulz.


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Fine Sideboard Charger: Banquet of the Gods, Circa 1880

Date: Circa 1880
Materials/Techniques:    Carved ivory
Dimensions: h 20.25 "
w 28.0 "

Origin: German (Erbach or Michelstadt?)
Inventory #: 347
Dimensions 51.5 × 71 cm

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The oval plaque is mounted with individually carved scenes on a wood support. The outer rim has six plaques deeply carved in relief surrounding an inner well with uncarved tapered ivory struts centered by one large oval plaque depicting the Banquet of the Gods, also known as The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis. The scenes around the perimeter are all drawn from mythological sources, including Juno riding in a chariot being drawn by two peacocks, Bacchus and Adriane, Apollo and Ceres, Zephyr and Flora, Venus and Jupiter.

The form of this finely executed charger is inspired by elaborate ivory and/or silver (or horn) examples (occasionally accompained by a ewer) that were traditionally displayed on sideboards in European aristocratic residences in the 17th and 18th centuries1. Craftsmen in the 19th century sought to satisfy the desires of wealthy industrialists intent on surrounding themselves with impressive and costly objects of the kind traditionally collected by their princely ancestors. The concept of the ‘shatzkammer’ and of collecting objects which would reflect your worth was pervasive with new monied families in the late 19th century and was the driving force behind ‘historismus’ taste.

Related literature:

1 Christina Corsiglia, Editor, Rubens and his Age, Treasures from the Hermitage Museum, Russia, Merrell, 2001, p. 224, cat. no. 164.

Meinrad Maria Grewenig,, Macht & Pracht, Europas Glanz im 19. Jahrhundert, 2006, Edition Völklinger Hütte im Springpunkt Verlag.