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Home > Auctions > 29th November 2022 > Cretan Incredulity of St Thomas Icon

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LOT 0411

GBP (£) 12,000 - 17,000
EUR (€) 13,990 - 19,830
USD ($) 14,730 - 20,870

Sold for (Inc. bp): £13,000


19 1/8 in. (1.58 kg, 48.5 cm high).

An icon painted on a wooden board with reinforcing panel to the reverse, gessoed surface with painting depicting the resurrected Christ revealing his wounds to St Thomas, who is reaching towards the fifth stigmata with his raised forefinger, the apostles having gathered around the pair witnessing the inspection of the wounds; Christ standing within a framed doorway with gilt dome above.

Property of a London lady, part of her family's collection.
Accompanied by an academic report by Dr Raffaele D’Amato.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by search certificate no.11545-196368.

See Psilakis, N., Byzantine Churches and Monasteries of Crete, Heraklion, 1998; Evans, H.C., The Arts of Byzantium, New York, 2001; for the iconography of the scene see Horn, M., ‘The incredulity of Saint Thomas on a Byzantine Sapphire from the Cheapside Hoard, London: A proposal for a new dating to the Palaiologan Period’ in Bosselmann-Ruickbie, A. (ed.), New Research on Late Byzantine Goldsmiths Works (13th-15th centuries), BOO, bd 13, Mainz, 2019, pp.165-183.

The icon represents a well known iconography from the New Testament, Gospel of Saint John, chapter 20, in which the resurrected Christ stands beside ‘Doubting Thomas’, supposedly the most sceptical of the twelve apostles. In this chapter Christ appears to Thomas’s fellow disciples while Thomas himself is absent and upon his return, Thomas’s friends tell him about Christ’s resurrection, which Thomas does not believe in. After eight days pass, Jesus comes again, and this time Thomas is confronted by his Lord: “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands, and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side, and be not faithless, but believing.”