This silver-gilt case from Georgia was the offering of Priest-monk Joachim Skordillis of Crete, and is decorated with the monumental scenes of the Crucifixion and the Descent into Hades. The narrow sides of the case are decorated with the figures of the Mother of God as the Bush between Moses and Saint Catherine, the Evangelists, and a carefully engraved dedicatory inscription. The background is engraved with dense winding vines with lotus flowers and other blossoms. The slender figures, complex fabric folds, and the overall austere and gentle characteristics carved in deep relief, contrast starkly with the floral decorative pattern style, indicating that this is the work of an Eastern Georgia workshop, an area that was influenced by Islamic art in the sixteenth century.


Embossed, carved, engraved silver gilt
Height 30.5 cm
Eastern Georgia workshop
St. Catherine's Monastery Saint Catherine, South Sinai Governorate