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Fine Russian Icon - the Holy Mandylion in silver and enamel oklad revetment cover

An icon of the Holy Mandylion with gilded silver and enamel oklad revetment cover, by maker Antip Kuzmichev, Moscow, 1889. The oklad is distinctive as a demonstration of Kuzmichev’s use of engraving to achieve trompe l’oeil effects, as well as the austerity of his enamel design on the halo. The icon is fully painted with fine detail. The icon and oklad are well fitted; there are no large gaps around the edges of the halo or tendrils of hair.

Marks: Struck on the underside of the oklad with maker’s mark and Moscow hallmarks dated 1889 and 84 (.875) silver standard. Secondary marks are struck on the spandrels and halos. The reverse is covered with magenta-colored silk.

Condition: There are scattered some spots of loss to the icon surface. Minimal enamel loss.

The icon type of The Holy Mandylion represents the very first not made by human hands image of the Savior miraculously created by Christ himself. According to the Christian tradition, King Abgar of Edessa wrote to Jesus, asking him to come to cure him of an illness. Instead, one of the seventy disciples, Thaddeus, is said to have come to Edessa, bearing the words and an image of Jesus, by the virtues of which the king was miraculously healed. To create his likeness, Jesus used a face-cloth which miraculously bore the image of His face. This image of Christ preserved on the face cloth was kept and venerated in Edessa, and became known as “The Holy Image of Edessa”, the “Holy Mandylion” (from Greek “face cloth”), or “The Image Not Made With Human Hands”. This iconographic type is widely used by both the Eastern and the Western Christian Churches.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 70-SSI-12
  • Size: 12 1⁄4 x 10 1⁄2 in. (26.5 x 22 cm)
  • Age: The icon, 19th century; the oklad, ca. 1889
  • Origin: Moscow, Russia
  • Materials: Wood, egg tempera, gesso, gilded silver, enamel, silk
  • Price: Price upon request
  • Silver
  • Orthodox Cross

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