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Ivory was also carved into caskets, combs, mirror cases, writing tablets, cups, dagger handles, and chess pieces.
Sometimes scenes of courtly love or extracts from romances were carved onto the surface of these utilitarian objects.
Northern European ivory carving revived during the Carolingian Renaissance, using walrus instead of elephant tusks.
The Carolingians carved ivory into reliquaries, crucifixes, relief panels, and the book covers of psalters.
Several reliefs on diptychs and panels having Christian subjects date from this period, and indeed depictions of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the Apostles form the main subject matter of European figurative ivory carvings for many centuries thereafter.
No Byzantine ivory from the 7th to the 9th century survives, but there do exist several magnificent carved ivory reliefs from the 10th and 11th centuries.
Byzantine statuettes from the late 11th and the 12th centuries show a more relaxed and fluid treatment of draperies, and their figures have elongated forms.
The earlier examples take the form of small nude female figures.
The carvings of animals belong to the succeeding Magdalenian period, and many of these have great merit.
The great change came with power-driven rotary saws for cutting and peeling the ivory and with dental drills for carving it easily and quickly.
These machine tools spread from Europe to Asia in the mid-20th century and are now in universal use for carving ivory.