Mounted Rock Crystal

Mounted Rock Crystal


Gold, quartz, almandine

Overall: 10.2 x 1.9 x 1.6 cm (4 x 3/4 x 5/8 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1953.640



When this object was acquired, it was thought to be a container for holy oil or another sacred relic or substance. However, closer examination revealed that the rock crystal prism at the object’s core is completely solid, leaving no room in which to insert such matter. The object’s original function thus remains unclear. It may have served as an amulet, a magical object meant to protect its owner from evil and mishaps.

See also
MED - Byzantine
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 

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