Reliquary for St Elisabeth Postcard

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Reliquary for St Elisabeth

Reliquary for St Elisabeth, Sweden

This reliquary was made, by command of the Emperor Frederic II, for the deposition of the saint's relics in 1236. In about 1000AD, a late classical, Byzantine or German agate bowl was turned into a splendid drinking vessel through the addition of a foot, handles and rim of gold, encrusted with garnets, pearls and sapphires. Then, in the 13th century, the drinking vessel was converted into a reliquary by making for it a lid of silver-gilt on which a hooped crown was fitted, embellished with precious and semi-precious stones and beads set off by a dense carpeting of filigree, and by adding a silver-gilt foot richly decorated with relief figures, precious stones and gems. In medieval times the reliquary was kept in St Elizabeth's Church, Marburg. It was taken as loot in the Thirty Years' War. Gold Room, National Historical Museum (Historiska Museet), Östermalm, Stockholm, Sweden

Photo by mohn