Akhtyrskaya Mother of God Russian Silver Icon

  • This Russian icon captures a powerful image of the Virgin Mary contemplating the death of her son
  • Known as an "Akhtyrskaya" icon, its motif stems from a miracle that occurred in 1739
  • The icon is protected by its oklad, a covering of beautifully chased and gilded silver
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-3505

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A powerful image of the Virgin Mary and the crucifixion of Jesus is rendered in this significant early 19th-century Russian icon. The "Corpus Christi," Latin for "body of Christ," is the most evocative image in all of Christendom, with Jesus' suffering being the keystone of Christian theology and the basis for the doctrines of salvation and atonement. The poignant imagery is paired in this icon with the praying figure of Mary, the mother of God, contemplating the death of her son.

The icon is protected by its oklad, a covering of beautifully chased and gilded silver through which only the face and hands of Mary are visible, as well as the body of her son, Jesus. With its precious ornamentation of jeweled haloes and robes, the icon's oklad exemplifies a centuries-old tradition of honoring important icons, as well as protecting them. A stunning example of the jeweler's craft, the oklad features two panels in Cyrillic that roughly translates to "The True Portrayal of a Miraculous Image // To The Patriarchs of Akhtyrskaya."

Known as an "Akhtyrskaya" icon, its motif stems from a miracle that occurred in 1739 in a rural church in Akhtyrka, Russia (now Okhtyrka, Ukraine). The church's reverend was mowing his lawn when he discovered an icon depicting the Mother of God contemplating her Son's crucifixion lying in the grass. After washing the icon, he used it to bless the sick, and they were healed. After several other miracles, the icon came to be venerated as miracle-working, and the motif remains known as a "miraculous image" in the Orthodox Church.

Oklad bears full Russian hallmarks, including the 84 zolotniks mark, assay mark and the date mark 1806.

12 1/4" high x 10 1/8" wide x 1 1/8" deep
Akhtyrskaya Mother of God Russian Silver Icon
Period: 19th Century
Origin: Russia
Type: Other
Depth: 1.13 Inches
Width: 10.13 Inches
Height: 12.25 Inches

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