Rare Boxwood Roundel Finely Carved with a Detailed Scene of St George Slaying the Dragon

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Object Description

A Rare Boxwood Roundel Finely Carved with a Detailed Scene of St George Slaying the Dragon Perhaps from the Side of Reliquary Casket
From the workshops of the Greek Orthodox Monastery on Mount Athos
17th Century

Size: 5.5cm dia. – 2¼ ins dia.

Object History

Ex English Private collection

cf: A similar boxwood roundel is held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, described as ‘Slavic’ accession no. 30.95.210 bequest of Theodore M. Davis 1915

Object Literature

Mount Athos is in northeastern Greece, the ‘Holy Mountain’. It is the spiritual capital of the Orthodox Christian Church. The way of life for the two thousand monks who live there is practically unchanged since the order first arrived in the 9th century AD. In its heyday over forty thousand monks lived in the monasteries as religious hermits and recluses. Their day begins at sunset as they follow the Julian calendar which is 13 days behind our Gregorian one. Prayer takes place between 2am and 6am as this is the quietest and therefore the most effective time. Chanting is an essential part of their services and on feast days it can last for up to twelve hours. Women may not set foot on the Holy Mountain as it was consecrated as the garden of the Mother of God and so out of bounds to all other women.

Object Details

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