The Temple Pyx

Contributed by Burrell Collection

During the Middle Ages, relics of Christ's Passion and of the Virgin and the saints were scattered throughout Western Christendom. To contain these relics, a wide variety of shires or reliquaries was created. Very few from the Medieval period have survived, especially in England where in the 16th century the Reformation took an almost complete toll of such objects. Because of this, the bronze group of three sleeping soldiers, almost certainly representing part of a Holy Sepulchre scene, takes on an added significance. The piece is known as the Temple Pyx as it is reputed to have been found in the Temple Church in London. Several similar pieces are recorded, and it seems likely that they all originally formed part of a reliquary or shrine. If the provenance is correct, the Temple Pyx may well be English, although it is usually considered to be German. It dates from c. 1125 - 1150 and belongs to the Burrell Collection.

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1125 - 1150


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