Wood-carved encolpion

The carved wooden body is mounted on a metal frame with filigree and granulated decoration (the former makes skilful use of delicate metal threads to form a design, the latter employs small metal beads). On the carved surface, a spiralling vine branch creates divisions in which six scenes are carved. The Pentecost is at the centre, with the Cosmos below it, while around it there are depictions of the Annunciation, the Holy Trinity, the Dormition of the Virgin, the Presentation of the Virgin, and the Baptism. Encolpia were worn by high priests of the Orthodox Church, hung around their neck on a chain; they reached the middle of the chest and symbolize the bishop’s pure heart.

Brouskari M. 2007. Catalogue no. 231, in Skampavias K.—Chatzidakis N. (eds), Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos Museum. Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Art, Athens, 454.