RELIQUARIES

After writing about Fang Reliquaries last week, I started thinking about reliquaries in general and my favorite reliquary of all, pictured above.  This wonderful sculpture was built as a reliquary for an arm bone of Saint Valentine!  It is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art nowadays, but, originally it was displayed (on feast days) on the high altar of Basel Cathedral, in Switzerland.  It was made of silver between 1380 and 1400.   Here’s what it looks like on the other side:

You can see where there had been a window so you could see the relic bone inside.

Many religions have reliquaries to hold ” bones, pieces of clothing, or some object associated with saints or other  religious figures”, according to Wikipedia.

Why is this reliquary in a museum rather than a church?  Where did Saint Valentine’s arm bone go?  Which Saint Valentine are we even talking about?

 

 

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