Casket - Styles and Influences
North Italy? 10th c.
Its beauty, form and decorative profusion allow us to compare this casket with fragments of a casket in Cluny Museum, Paris (revers Cl. 3, a and b) which has a similarly executed leafy pattern.
They differ in that the Mimara casket is slightly more geometrical than the other and the fact that it has almost no animals carved on it, only a pair of birds of different species on the lid. Exclusively ornamental patterns were very rare on Byzantine caskets, the best known being that in the Victoria and Albert Museum which is decorated all over with palmettas in a style that suggests a later date.