Wooden Casket: Scenes from the Life of Christ

Wooden Casket: Scenes from the Life of Christ

c. 1050

Boxwood, copper-alloy, glass

Overall: 9 x 7.8 x 15.7 cm (3 9/16 x 3 1/16 x 6 3/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1953.362


This casket is a rare, if not unique example of high-quality woodcarving from Anglo-Saxon England. Decorated with scenes from Christ’s life, it was likely made for an ecclesiastical purpose and may have housed relics. On one long side, the Christ child rests in the manger. Above, the Crucifixion is shown with mourners gathered below the cross and two angels flanking it on either side. On the other long side is the Ascension, God’s hand pulling Christ heavenward. Christ in Majesty appears above. The short sides show Christ’s baptism and his entry into Jerusalem.

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