reliquary

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reliquary

(rĕl'əkwĕr`ē), receptacle containing the relics of saints and other sacred objects of the Christian religion. Reliquaries were often designed in shapes that reflected the nature of their contents, such as hands, shoes, buildings, and heads. They were richly decorated with gold, silver, enamel, and jewels.

Reliquary

 

a repository for relics, characteristic mainly of the Christian cult.

Reliquaries, known since the third century, were especially widespread in Western Europe and to a lesser degree in Byzantium and ancient Rus’. They could be of the most varying forms, from tiny coffers to large shrines. Reliquaries were made of precious metals, ivory, or wood, and were executed by casting or carving. They were decorated with precious stones, pictures, and ornaments.

REFERENCE

Braun, J. Die Reliquiare des christlichen Kultes und ihre Entwicklung. Freiburg im Breisgau, 1940.

reliquary

a receptacle or repository for relics, esp relics of saints