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HOME : Byzantine Art : Byzantine Metalwork : Byzantine Bronze Plaque Depicting a Saint
Byzantine Bronze Plaque Depicting a Saint - X.0155
Origin: Eastern Mediterranean
Circa: 6 th Century AD to 7 th Century AD
Dimensions: 2" (5.1cm) high x 1.5" (3.8cm) wide
Collection: Byzantine
Medium: Bronze

Additional Information: HK
Location: Great Britain
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The shape and size of this bronze plaque, as well as the presence of nail holes in the corners, suggest that it would have once adorned the side of a reliquary box or the front cover of a book. The image of a saint crowned with a nimbus halo and holding a cross in his right hand has been gently hammered onto the surface of the plaque in a technique known as repoussé. The Greek letters, “H” and “AK” have been inscribed on either side of his head. Other similar plaques inscribed with prayers were thought to have been votive offerings that were nailed onto columns or inside niches of chapels. There, they would continue to symbolize the physical manifestation of the prayer. However, considering the diminutive size of this plaque, it is far more likely that it would have once decorated a book or box. This bronze plaque depicting a saint is a remnant from the Byzantine era, when Christianity fully blossomed in Europe. Here, ancient techniques of metalworking are combined with Christian iconography, producing a work that is both decorative and spiritual. - (X.0155)


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