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Silverwork in the Modern Period

Ecclesiastical silver

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Silver reliquary in the shape of a church
Silver reliquary in the shape of a church, containing the bones of saint Niphon, Patriarch of Constantinople, 16th cent., Mount Athos, Dionysiou Monastery.

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Silver reliquary in the shape of a church

The finest examples of ecclesiastical silver are kept in the sacristies of the monasteries on Mount Athos, where objects imported from Russian and Transylvanian workshops, amongst others, are also to be found. The art of silverware, which was a Byzantine tradition in the case of ecclesiastical vessels, was revived in the 18th century, with the awakening and recovery of Hellenism.

The production of silver at the Mademohoria in Halkidiki contributed to the development of the art. There were centres in north-west Macedonia, and in the 19th century there were also workshops on Mount Athos, at which both monks and laymen who had settled there worked.

The familiar techniques were used for the ecclesiastical silver of Macedonia -- engraving, casting, filigree, repoussť and enamel. The influence of baroque and rococo, in local versions, can be seen in the decorative motifs.

See Also
Civilization - Metalwork
Sculpture, pottery and metalwork in Byzantium
Travelling - Mount Athos

Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.