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Home > Auctions > 5th December 2023 > Byzantine Liturgical Bronze Bowl with Figures

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LOT 0224

GBP (£) 10,000 - 14,000
EUR (€) 11,560 - 16,180
USD ($) 12,700 - 17,770

Opening Bid
£5,000 (EUR 5,779; USD 6,348) (+bp*)

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11 1/2 in. (418 grams, 29.2 cm).

With sloping walls and a thin everted rim, the interior of the vessel engraved with a scene comprising four nimbate Evangelists around a central figure of beardless Christ, each holding a gospel in the right hand, the left hand raised to make the sign of blessing; the four Evangelists each depicted beneath an arch with a Corinthian column flanking, the body of the column decorated with fish-scale motifs.

CONDITION REPORT: [Click to show]

Private German collection since the 1980s.
Acquired on the German art market in 2001.
Property of a gentleman.

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.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.