Chryselephantine

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Chryselephantine Composed of, or adorned with, gold and ivory.☞ The chryselephantine statues of the Greeks were built up with inferior materials, veneered, as it were, with ivory for the flesh, and gold decorated with color for the hair and garments.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • chryselephantine Composed of gold and ivory: specifically, in ancient art, applied to statues overlaid with plates of gold and ivory. Such a statue was built up upon a wooden core or frame, braced and sustained by rods of metal. When the sculptor had completed his model, the flesh-surface of a cast taken from it was marked off into sections. These were separated from one another, and reproduced in ivory plates, which were eventually fastened on or fitted into the surface of the wooden core. The draperies also were divided into sections and reproduced in gold, gold of different tints often being introduced, and were fitted upon the statue like a garment. The gold portions were sometimes made removable, as in the great statue of Athena by Phidias in the Parthenon at Athens; in that case they were regarded as a reserve fund available to the state in time of need.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Chryselephantine kris-el-e-fan′tin noting the art of making statues jointly of gold and ivory.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Gr. chryso`s gold + made of ivory, fr. ivory, elephant
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. chrysos, gold, elephantinos, made of ivory—elephas, -antos, ivory.

Usage

In literature:

The chryselephantine papal standard rises high, surrounded by pennons of the civic flag.
"Ulysses" by James Joyce
The cella or naos was built to enshrine the chryselephantine statue of Athena by Pheidias.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 2, Slice 4" by Various
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In poetry:

Chryselephantine, clear as carven name,
Before my gaze thy soul's eidolon stands,
As on the threshold of the frozen lands
A frozen sun forevermore the same.
"Eidolon" by Clark Ashton Smith