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Early 19th C. Russian Brass & Enamel Traveling Icon

Eastern Europe, Russia, ca. 19th century CE. A pretty example of a tripartite traveling icon, made of brass, depicting three religious scenes with pale white enamel and dark blue enamel in the lower profile areas. Mary is in the center, a rare depiction for an icon like this one, which often centers on Christ. Looking towards her, two on each side, are three saints and an angel. Above her in heaven is God the Father. Panels of Cyrillic script explain the scenes. The shape of the icon when closed mirrors the form of a Russian church with its onion dome. Size: 6.6" W x 4.9" H (16.8 cm x 12.4 cm)

In order to support traveling priests on missions, bronze and brass religious objects were made that were small enough and light enough to be carried on long journeys through a difficult landscape. These crosses were widespread in Russia by the 17th century, and are often mentioned in the writings of Pushkin and Chekhov.

Condition: Wear to details from age and handling. Some wear to enamel.

Provenance: private Orange County, California, USA collection

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