Christ presenting the keys to saint Peter and the law to saint Paul
The theme of Christ handing the keys of heaven to St Peter and the law to St Paul, which originated in fourth-century Rome, refers to the establishment of the Church as stated in Matthew 16:18: "I also tell you that you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church".
The parable highlights the importance of SS Peter and Paul and, by extension, that of St Peter's successors, the bishops of Rome.
In this powerful interpretation, a domed structure replaces the rock on which Christ is more frequently depicted.
The dramatic expressions, the fluid, clinging drapery, and the openwork carving are characteristic of German Romanesque ivory carving.
The inscription, including the date 1200, is later.