About this artwork
This reliquary uses the form of a miniature Gothic tower. It makes an elaborate architectural frame for a transparent rock-crystal vessel holding a relic that is identified as a tooth of Saint John the Baptist by an inscription along the base of the reliquary. Rock crystal was highly prized in the medieval Islamic world. Considered a precious stone, it was used to create a number of luxurious secular objects, including this vessel, which was probably originally intended to be a container for fragrant oils.
- Weddeghe Velstede
- Reliquary Monstrance with a Tooth of Saint John the Baptist
- Silver gilt and rock crystal
- 45.1 cm (17 3/4 in.)
- Gift of Mrs. Chauncey McCormick