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  • Place of origin:

    Florence (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1500-1550 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved grey sandstone

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Tabernacles are used to hold the consecrated host or relics. The terms "ciborium" and "tabernacle" are sometimes used interchangeably, though strictly speaking the tabernacle holds the pyx which contains the consecrated host, while the ciborium is shaped liked a cup and directly holds the consecrated host. The pyx is an even smaller vessel designed to hold the wafer, and can be placed inside the tabernacle.

Physical description

Relief in sandstone (pietra serena). The arched central aperture is framed in a rounded moulding with a curtain drawn back at either side and, in the centre at the top, tongues of fire. At the sides are decorated pilasters. Over a console in the form of a putto head flanked by cornucopia is the inscription: HIC EST LOCVS RELIQVIARVM. In the lunette is the Holy Spirit as a dove.

Place of Origin

Florence (made)


ca. 1500-1550 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved grey sandstone

Marks and inscriptions



Height: 151.1 cm, Width: 63.5 cm

Descriptive line

Tabernacle, grey sandstone, decorated with the dove of the Holy Spirit, Italian (Florence), ca.1500-1550

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Inventory of Art Objects Acquired in the Year 1861 In: Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, Arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol I. London: Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 36
Pope-Hennessy, John. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Volume II: Text. Sixteenth to Twentieth Century. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1964, p. 411





Subjects depicted

Doves; Curtains; Wings; Religion (concept); Ornament; Pilasters; Putti


Sculpture; Christianity; Architectural fittings; Religion


Sculpture Collection

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