Jan 12, 2009
Jan 12, 2009

Mounted Rock Crystal

Mounted Rock Crystal

500s-600s

Gold, quartz, almandine

Overall: 10.2 x 1.9 x 1.6 cm (4 x 3/4 x 5/8 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1953.640

Location

Description

When this object was acquired, it was thought to be a container for holy oil or another sacred relic or substance. However, closer examination revealed that the rock crystal prism at the object’s core is completely solid, leaving no room in which to insert such matter. The object’s original function thus remains unclear. It may have served as an amulet, a magical object meant to protect its owner from evil and mishaps.

See also
Collection: 
MED - Byzantine
Department: 
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 
Metalwork

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