Byzantine: Furniture and Decorative Arts

Little Byzantine era furniture exists, but illustrations in manuscripts and mosaics show that some classical forms are retained for chairs and tables.  Few pieces are draped with fabric and seating often has cushions. 

Furniture was made of wood, metal and ivory using simple construction.  Some pieces are jeweled or have silver and gold inlay.  Silk and velvet are common materials, with designs featuring animals, geometric patterns, and Persian influence.  Some stools, chairs, and benches are X shaped and made of metal. 

The Maximianus throne, made for an archbishop, is constructed of ivory carved with animals, birds, and foliage.  The panels show saints and scenes from the life of Christ. 

Heavily detailed and jewel-encrusted reliquaries hold religious objects of veneration.  Ivory covering often decorates book covers, plaques, and reliquaries. 

Maximianus throne-

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