Lot 1536: Post Medieval Russian Icon of Saint Nicholas
December 8, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 19th century AD. A rectangular wooden icon with a painted scene of St. Nicholas (???????), accompanied with Christ and Mary, covered by a finely decorated silver-gilt riza with stamped hallmark dated for 1860, Moscow; fabric-covered reverse. 445 grams, 22.1 x 17.7cm (8 3/4 x 7"). From a private collection formed in the 1990s. Although Saint Nicolas is one of the most popular saints in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, there is scarcely anything historically certain about him except that he was a bishop of Myra in the fourth century. He is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, children or brewers in various cities and countries around Europe. There are many stories about him helping the poor and performing miracles, which were most likely built upon his reputation as a generous man. Saint Nicholas is a popular subject portrayed on countless Eastern Orthodox icons, particularly Russian ones. He is depicted as an Orthodox bishop, wearing the omophorion and holding a Gospel Book. Sometimes he is depicted wearing the Eastern Orthodox mitre, sometimes he is bareheaded. Iconographically, St.Nicholas is depicted as an elderly man with a short, full white beard and balding head. In commemoration of the miracle attributed to him by tradition at the Ecumenical Council of Nicea, he is sometimes depicted with Christ over his left shoulder holding out a Gospel Book to him and Mary over his right shoulder holding the omophorion.
Condition Report: Fine condition.