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Icon

  • Place of origin:

    Greece (made)

  • Date:

    1774 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraved and embossed silver

  • Museum number:

    M.191-1926

  • Gallery location:

    Sacred Silver & Stained Glass, Room 83, The Whiteley Galleries, case 6B

This icon comes from the Greek Orthodox church, where the veneration of holy images has always been of great importance. It may show St George of Cappadocia, a legendary martyr saint said to have died in Palestine towards the end of the 3rd century. He represents the triumph of good over evil and is often depicted as a mounted knight slaying a dragon.

Physical description

A wood panel painted with a figure of Saint George, all, except the face of painted ivory, covered by a casing of engraved and embossed silver. Rectangular in shape, the casing enriched with floral scrolls.

Place of Origin

Greece (made)

Date

1774 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Engraved and embossed silver

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed (In Greek) " St George" and " Gregory, Archbishop of Cassandra, 1774"

Dimensions

Height: 5.375 in, Width: 4.25 in

Object history note

Bought for £10. Received from J. Stuart Hay, 9 Chester Place, W.2.

Historical context note

The Eastern Churches
The history of the church around and beyond the eastern Mediterranean is complex. The earliest eastern churches were established in Antioch, Alexandria and other cities in the 1st century. They were independent communities and theological controversy sharpened their differences.

In 330 Constantinople (now Istanbul) became the capital of the Roman empire. Successive bishops of Constantinople, later given the title of patriarch, gradually won authority over other eastern churches, despite the opposition of the pope. Churches that accepted the jurisdiction of the patriarch became known as Orthodox, but others, including those of Armenia and Ethiopia, developed along separate lines. Diversity of practice and doctrine in the eastern churches is reflected in the different kinds of regalia and sacred silver. Yet some forms such as the chalice are common to all, indicating a shared core of beliefs.

Descriptive line

Silver, wood and ivory, Greece, 1774

Labels and date

Icon
This icon comes from the Greek Orthodox church, where the veneration of holy images has always been of great importance. It may show St George of Cappadocia, a legendary martyr saint said to have died in Palestine towards the end of the 3rd century. He represents the triumph of good over evil and is often depicted as a mounted knight slaying a dragon.

Greek, dated 1774. Silver, wood, ivory and pigment
Museum no. M.191-1926 [22/11/2005]

Materials

Silver

Techniques

Embossing

Categories

Religion; Metalwork; Christianity

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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