Replica cylindrical pyx box, Italy 400-500 CE, fictile ivory plaster cast, made by Elkington and Co, London, England, 1855-1887
Plaster cast of an ivory original from the Christian Museum at the Vatican. Another cast from the same process is held by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (repro.1858-181).
1. The miracle of Christ raising Lazarus, whose body is swathed like an Egyptian mummy, with the face uncovered, standing erect in the doorway of the tomb (like a watch-box), Christ stretches towards him, his hand holding a small cross; a female figure behind seizes hold of His cloak.
2. Christ, holding a cross, healing the blind man, leaning on a shaft, by touching his eyes with His fingers.
3. The paralytic cured, carrying his bed on his back. On the key-plate is engraved the monogram of Christ, formed of the letters XP conjoined.
A pyx, either identical with the present or exactly resembling it, is figured by Gorius, Thes. Diptych, IV, pl, 24, fig. infer, as preserved in the sacristy of Milan Cathedral; the only noticeable difference is, that in this figure the key-plate is quite plain. D'Agincourt, sculpture, pl. xii. fig. 4, has copied the figures of this and the pyx, No. 769, from Gorius, stating them to be portions of one and the same object.
Reference: Westwood, J. O., 'Fictile Ivory Casts in the South Kensington Museum', Chapman and Hall, London, 1876 (58-181)