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Anonymous (eleventh/twelfth century)

 
 

Obverse

Bust of St Nicholas holding a small cross in his right hand and holding a gospel book in his left. Inscription in two columns: |ΝΙΚ|Ο, : ὁ ἅ(γιος) Νικό(λαος). Border of dots. 

Reverse

Bust of St George in military costume holding a lance in his right hand and a shield in his left. Inscription in two columns: |Γ|ΕΟ|Ρ|ΓΙ : ὁ ἅ(γιος) Γεόργι(ος). Border of dots.

Obverse

Bust of St Nicholas holding a small cross in his right hand and holding a gospel book in his left. Inscription in two columns: |ΝΙΚ|Ο, : ὁ ἅ(γιος) Νικό(λαος). Border of dots. 

Reverse

Bust of St George in military costume holding a lance in his right hand and a shield in his left. Inscription in two columns: |Γ|ΕΟ|Ρ|ΓΙ : ὁ ἅ(γιος) Γεόργι(ος). Border of dots.

Accession number BZS.1947.2.1828
Diameter 18.0 mm; field: 10.0 mm
Previous Editions

DO Seals 7, 15.40. 

Credit Line Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Thomas Whittemore.

Commentary

It is very unusual to find St Nicholas holding a small cross, an attribute reserved for martyrs and confessors of the faith, of which he was neither. Among the published specimens of seals bearing an image of Saint Nicholas, there are no examples that depict him holding a small cross. However, in the Dumbarton Oaks collection there are three other examples found: BZS.1958.106.5330, BZS.1958.106.4394 and BZS.1951.31.5.3525.