When ivory reappeared in northern Europe in the mid-thirteenth century, artists and patrons quickly renewed the art of ivory carving. Instead of a revival of earlier forms, however, the Gothic period saw the revival of a new range of ivory object types: statuettes and statuette groups for the church or the private home; small paneled objects called diptychs (two panels), triptychs (three panels), and polyptychs (many panels) with scenes in low relief that unfold for private meditation; and luxury objects for personal use, such as combs, mirror backs, writing tablets, and caskets. The golden age of Gothic ivory carving spanned a century and a half, from about 1230 to 1380, at which point the supply of ivory to northern Europe again dwindled. More on Ivory Carving in the Gothic Era
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