This silver cylinder was found together with other pieces, including a column base (accession no. BZ.1963.36.18), a column capital (BZ.1963.36.13), and another cylinder bearing the inscription “This was renewed in the time of Theodore, most holy bishop.” (BZ.1965.1.9) The inscription suggests that these pieces were part of a refurbishment project for some ecclesiastic furniture, although just what they may have adorned is not certain. They may have covered the supports of an altar table, a large stand for a lamp or candle, supports for a canopy over the altar, or even part of a templon (a low wall, sometimes colonnaded, that divided the nave from the sanctuary in early Byzantine churches). The templon of the church of Hagia Sophia, for example, was covered in silver. These pieces were apparently gifts to the church of Holy Sion in southern Anatolia in the sixth century.
- J. Hanson
S. A. Boyd, "A 'Metropolitan' Treasure from a Church in the Provinces: An introduction to the Study of the Sion Treasure," in Ecclesiastical Silver Plate in Sixth-Century Byzantium: Papers of the Symposium held May 16-18, 1986, at the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, and Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C., ed. S.A. Boyd and M.M. Mango (Washington, D.C., 1992), 5-37, esp. 12, pl. S57.1, checklist no. 57.
P. Meyers, "Elemental Compositions of the Sion Treasure and Other Byzantine Silver Objects," in Ecclesiastical Silver Plate in Sixth-Century Byzantium: Papers of the Symposium held May 16-18, 1986, at the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, and Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C., ed. S. Boyd and M.M. Mango (Washington, D.C., 1992), 169-75, esp. 174, 180, table 1 no. 41.
J. Bogdanovic, The Framing of Sacred Space: The Canopy and the Byzantine Church, Oxford University Press (2017), fig. 2.50.
Purchased from George Zacos (dealer) by Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, Switzerland, 1963.
Given by Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss to Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C., 1963.
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Byzantine Collection, Washington, D.C.