It was customary for high-ranking priests to dedicate their best vestments and their insignias of office to the monasteries they were associated with. This might be the case with the encolpion of “humble bishop Theophanes”. It consists of a lavish silver-gilt case with pointed-arch openings in three rows that open up onto icons with busts of Evangelists, archangels, high priests and saints, painted on the encased wooden substrate. The fine filigree enamel decorative patterns in green, the cast-glass stones, turquoise and pearls that adorn the frame and the back side of the case contrast starkly with the austere painted figures.


Filigree enamels, cast glass stones, pearls and niello
Height 8.8 cm
Icon with painted busts of saints in a silver gilt case
St. Catherine's Monastery Saint Catherine, South Sinai Governorate