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Reliquary theca with relics of the Shroud Of Jesus Christ (Shroud of Turin)

Rare 18th-century silver glass-fronted theca containing five significant threads from the Holy Shroud of Jesus Christ also known as the Shroud of Turin. The relics are affixed to a gilded paper starburst on the red silk background, surrounded by gold and silver wire ornamentation, and titled in 18th-century bi-color ductus as De Sindone DNJC (from the Shroud of Our Lord Jesus Christ). Theca is secured on the back by a perfectly preserved seal of red Spanish wax bearing a clear imprint of the coat of arms of an unidentified Roman Catholic Bishop.

The Holy Shroud is considered one of the most important relics of Christianity. Its existence has been documented since the 6th century when it was venerated in Edessa, Syria. In 944, it was brought to Constantinople, where it was depicted in the “Codex Pray” and described in the homilies of the Patriarchs and the reports of visitors. In 1204, during the 4th Crusade, it was stolen from its reliquary in the Imperial Palace Chapel by the French knight Othon de la Roche and brought to France via Athens. He sent it to his castle near Besancon, where it was shown in the local Cathedral on Good Friday. Since 1357, it was first venerated in Lirey, Champagne, then in Chambery, and finally brought to Turin, Italy by the Savoy Dynasty in 1598.

In the 18th century, two popes, Clement XII (p. 1730-1740) and Benedict XIV (p. 1740-1758), ordered pieces of the upper left and right edge of the shroud to be clipped to disseminate the resulting fragments as papal gifts. In addition, Savoy tried to use the phenomenal popularity of the Shroud as an object of veneration to achieve the aims of domination in Piedmont, conversion of Turin into a capital of the European autocracy and achievement of international recognition as a ruling house of the royal standing. It is likely that a number of reliquaries containing particles of the Holy Shroud were distributed by the Duke of Savoy Victor Amadeus II († 1732) in the form of gifts aimed at achieving dynastic aspirations of the House of Savoy.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 207-RSCR-1
  • Size: 50 x 40 mm
  • Age: ca. 18th century
  • Origin: Italy
  • Materials: silver, silvered brass, glass
  • Price: $5,500
  • Orthodox Cross
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