Ivory is one of the world’s most treasured natural resources; a substance often used for everything from furniture to medicine. While it’s illegal to purchase and import products made of pure ivory, ancient ivory artifacts hold a unique place in cultural lore. This piece is what’s left of a French medieval mirror case, c. 1350 A.D. Currently housed at the Louvre, the “Castle of Love” most likely refers to a medieval religious play of the same name; one of the earliest known writings in the French language. The scene depicts a castle coming under attack by knights and a group of women defending it, as an angel overlooks the chaos. There are some obviously romantic, if not sexual, connotations in the design; a couple of the knights making contact with some of the women. It’s always interesting to see so much eroticism present in religious artwork; considering how badly religious leaders tried to suppress sexual desire.