Bloodstone Cameo with Saint George

Bloodstone Cameo with Saint George

1000-1100

Bloodstone

Overall: 3.2 x 2.8 x 1.4 cm (1 1/4 x 1 1/8 x 9/16 in.)

Dudley P. Allen Fund 1959.41

Fun Fact

Legends about bravery can be comforting in times of distress. The wearer of this cameo, for example, may have thought about the fearlessness of Saint George in his battle against the dragon.

Description

Bearing the image of Saint George, one of the Byzantine Empire’s most popular saints, this cameo served as a powerful devotional and protective device. Close physical contact with a holy image was believed to enhance its effectiveness, creating a strong bond between the worshipper and the devotional object. Originally worn around the neck, this cameo was easily kissed and touched in moments of distress or crisis. Bloodstone was also believed to carry magical medicinal powers to stop hemorrhages and increase blood circulation.

See also
Collection: 
MED - Byzantine
Department: 
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 
Glyptic
Medium: 
Bloodstone
Credit line: 
Dudley P. Allen Fund

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