Antique Russian beaded icon after the Iverskaya

GBP 8,500.00

Contact Dealer To Purchase

Object Description

Antique Russian beaded icon after the Iverskaya
Russian, Early 20th Century
Icon: Height 34cm, width 27cm, depth 2cm
Frame: Height 48.5cm, width 42cm, depth 5.5cm

This unusual beaded religious icon is designed after the ‘Iverskaya’ (Russian) also known as the ‘Panagia Portaitissa’. Dating back to the 9th century, the icon is situated in the Iviron monastery on Mount Athos, Greece. The iconography – which depicts Christ held in the Madonna’s left arm with a hand outstretched in blessing, whilst his mother points to him with her right hand – belongs to a family of images of the Madonna known as ‘Hodegetria’.

Set on a wooden panel, the majority of the icon is comprised of miniature glass beads, aside from the painted faces, hands, and feet: the white robes, silver halos, and blue backdrop are all made up of beaded rows. Several larger past gemstones in shades of pink, silver, and gold adorn the figures, as seen on their halos, robes, and the crown of the Madonna. A beaded inscription in Cyrillic can be seen at the top of the work, the first word of which translates to ‘Iversk’.

The Mother and Child are ensconced by a beaded border which features some larger, more colourful, glass stones. Yet, the two figures sit slightly outside of the lower border, almost escaping from their frame. This perhaps indicates the power of Christ. The entire composition is surrounded by an elegantly carved, silvered wood frame. There is a split in the face of the Virgin Mary.

The red gash on the cheek of the Madonna is likely a reference to the supposed history of the original icon: during the Byzantine iconoclasm of the 9th Century, the icon was supposedly stabbed by a soldier, at which point blood miraculously flowed from the portrait. Many reproductions seek to evoke this feature of the original.

With its fascinating history and intricate beaded design, this unusual icon would make a superb addition to a collection of Russian antiques.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

We are open weekly as follows:

10:00 - 18:00
10:00 - 18:00
10:00 - 18:00
10:00 - 18:00
10:00 - 18:00

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)20 7491 3435

Dealer Location

39 South Audley Street
London W1K 2PP
United Kingdom

View Map