Mini-Podcast - Episode 22: Did Medieval people wear Relics?

September 3, 2021

Medieval jewelry was luxurious and costly. It was a treasured element of an individual’s sense of community, identity and of course a display of status. But why might medieval people conceal little fragments of bone, skin, or hair inside of these gorgeous objects? How did this container function, and what made these tiny, portable and wearable reliquaries different from display reliquaries found in churches and shrines?

Sources:

Meaningful Jewels: https://www.lesenluminures.com/publications/3-the-thing-of-mine-i-have-loved-the-text-by-cynthia-hahn-with-beatriz-chadour-sampson./ 

Treasures of Heaven: 

https://projects.mcah.columbia.edu/treasuresofheaven/relics/Reliquary-Pendant-76.php 
https://projects.mcah.columbia.edu/treasuresofheaven/ 

Les Enluminures Rock Crystal Pendant with Column:

https://www.lesenluminures.com/artworks/categories/3/9435-rock-crystal-pendant-with-column-16th-century/

Thame Ring: 

https://collections.ashmolean.org/collection/search/per_page/25/offset/0/sort_by/relevance/object/63737 

British Museum Reliquary Pendant: 

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_1902-0210-1