9.58 Episcopal enkolpion
18th c., 2nd half
Wood, silver gilt, gemstones and enamel
15 x 9.2 cm
Portrayed on one side of the wooden core of this enkolpion is the Annunciation, and on the other St George on horseback slaying the dragon. The core medallion is mounted in a star-shaped silver-gilt filigree frame with heart-shaped enamel ornaments. An ornate foliate motif in delicate filigree work, embellished with pearls and glass-paste stones, is repeated around the edge. Suspended from the bottom is a facetted gemstone of a rich purple colour (amethyst?), set in a mount decorated with broad leaves: this may have been a later addition.
Subjects, such as the Annunciation, associated with the role of the Virgin in the Incarnation may in the iconography of episcopal enkolpia and panagiaria be combined with portraits of warrior saints, such as St George (Radojkovic, figs. 71a-b. Provatakis 1976, pp. 54-9, pl. II). In this enkolpion the shallow, linear carving of the figures, so characteristic of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century, is closer to engraving than to sculpture. The filigree mount in many ways resembles that of the sanctification cross in the same monastery, and is reminiscent of a number of similar Western European works of an earlier era.
Bibliography: Ikonomaki-Papadopoulos 1991, p. 168, fig. 96.