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Sheathing for a Column Base


Early Byzantine
mid 6th century
16.4 cm x 25 cm (6 7/16 in. x 9 13/16 in.)
silver
BZ.1963.36.18

On view


Permalink: http://museum.doaks.org/objects-1/info/27469

Additional Images
Click an image to view a larger version
Additional Image Before and during restoration
Before and during restoration
Additional Image Full view with shaft (BZ.1963.36.12)
Full view with shaft (BZ.1963.36.12)
Additional Image Three-quarter view
Three-quarter view
Additional Image Two columns (BZ.1963.36.13, BZ.1965.1.9, BZ.1963.36.12, and BZ.1963.36.18)
Two columns (BZ.1963.36.13, BZ.1965.1.9, BZ.1963.36.12, and BZ.1963.36.18)
Additional Image Two columns (BZ.1963.36.13, BZ.1965.1.9, BZ.1963.36.12, and BZ.1963.36.18)
Two columns (BZ.1963.36.13, BZ.1965.1.9, BZ.1963.36.12, and BZ.1963.36.18)


Description
This sheathing for a column base was discovered together with other pieces, including a column capital (accession no. BZ.1963.36.13), a plain column shaft (BZ.1963.36.13), and another section of a column shaft (BZ.1965.1.9), bearing the inscription, “This was renewed in the time of Theodore, most holy bishop.” 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


Bibliography
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. S55.2-6, checklist no. 55.

I. Sevcenko, "The Sion Treasure: The Evidence of the Inscriptions," 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), 39-56, esp. 41 n. 24, 49 nn. 76-77, 50 n. 80, 79, 81, 83-84.

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. 40.

J. Durand, L'art byzantin (Paris, 1999), 53, fig. p. 46.

F. A. Bauer, Gabe und Person: Geschenke als Träger personaler Aura in der Spätantike, Eichstätter Universitätsreden (Eichstätt, 2009), fig. 58.


Acquisition History
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.