(in Russian, oklad), a decorative frame or covering for an icon. Icon covers were made of gold, silver, or gold-or silver-plated copper. They were decorated with embossing, filigree, repousé, niello, enamel, pearls, precious stones, or imitation stones. Icon covers, which are widespread primarily in Eastern Orthodox countries, were first used on small carved icons and later on large church icons. One of the earliest ancient Russian icon covers is on the icon Peter and Paul (11th and 12th centuries, Novgorod Historical and Architectural Museum-Preserve). Beginning around 1675, most icons were almost completely covered with metal sheets, which revealed only the face and hands of the images. Earlier covers revealed all of the icon except the background.
The Russian term oklad is also used to designate a book cover that was made and decorated in the same fashion as an icon cover. The oldest known book covers were made of ivory and date to the seventh and eighth centuries. Metal book covers appeared in the ninth or tenth centuries.