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Home > Auctions > 30th November 2021 > Byzantine Liturgical Bowl with Figures

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LOT 0116

GBP (£) 12,000 - 17,000
EUR (€) 14,090 - 19,970
USD ($) 15,940 - 22,580

£10,800 (EUR 12,685; USD 14,344) (+bp*)

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Byzantine Liturgical Bowl with Figures

11th-12th century AD

A large bronze paten with sloping walls and a thin everted rim, the interior of the vessel engraved with a scene comprising four nimbate Evangelist around a central figure of beardless Christ, each holding a gospel in their right hand, the left hand raised to make the sign of blessing; the four Evangelists depicted beneath an arch and a Corinthian column in between each figure, the body of the column decorated with fish scale motifs. 418 grams, 29.2cm (11 1/2"). Fine condition.

Condition report [Click to show]

Property of a gentleman; acquired on the German art market in 2001; formerly in a private German collection since the 1980s; accompanied by an expertise and archaeological report by Dr. Raffaele D’Amato; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.10940-181731.

Cf. Papanikola-Bakirtzi, D. (ed.), Everyday life in Byzantium. Byzantine Hours. Works and days in Byzantium, Exhibition catalogue, Thessaloniki, White Tower October 2001-January 2002, Athens, 2002, no.372, for the type; Wamser, L., Die Welt von Byzanz - Europas Östliches Erbe, München, 2004, item 149, for a paten with similar engravings; see a paten with incisions in similar style in the Royal Ontario Museum, accession number 994.220.196.

This vessel belongs to a well-known type of rich liturgical objects, likely produced in the workshops of the Imperial capital Constantinople, although the style used to present Christ and the Evangelists in this artwork points to an important provincial craftsman, certainly influenced by Islamic and Persian iconography. Patens and chalices were the essential containers for the bread and wine of the Divine Liturgy (Eucharist) in Byzantium.