Cross, Reliquary (Engolpion), 14th-16th Century, Rare!
Copper alloy; 57mm x 8mm / 18.1gm
Con/ As Fabricated; sound and wearable; cleaned and not waxed
Description/ Obverse; Christ, robed and nimbate, standing facing, arms out-stretched. Reverse; Virgin Mary, robed and nimbate, standing facing, arms raised in benediction
Provenance/ Ex David Macdonald collection, Turkey circa 1970's
Seller's Note/ Such Engolpion Reliquaries contained the relics of deceased saints - a lock of hair for example, fragments of clothing or some other item that belonged to a saint. More common is a cross that contained an item that was at some time handled by a particular holy person, the pope or a bishop, for example, or just about anything tangible that had a profound religious significance.
Our engolpion appears to have never been opened...or at least for 500-600 years or so. Does it still contain the original holy relic?