Reliquary Goblet

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Object Name: 
Reliquary Goblet
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 18.5 cm; Foot Diam: 7.6 cm
On Display
Web Description: 
These two reliquaries [CMoG 2009.3.94 and 2009.3.95] are made of exceptionally thin cristallo. They were produced in Venice for the preservation and display of bones, said to be those of a saint. Reliquaries were common in churches throughout Italy. Like monstrances (vessels that displayed the consecrated Host for the adoration of the faithful), the most elaborate reliquaries were mounted in gold and silver, precious materials that underscored the importance of the objects and the extent of their beholders’ wealth. Most reliquaries featured a glass jar that was sealed and sometimes locked to secure its contents. During the medieval period and the Renaissance, the remains of Catholic saints were preserved in this manner. Nevertheless, many reliquaries survive empty, suggesting that these objects may also have been used in a private context, such as on a house altar. These two reliquaries have paper labels identifying the bones(?) inside them as the remains of saints named “Victorinus” and “Paulinus.” It is remarkable that the vessels remain filled and sealed. It is also possible that the two saints referred to here are Victorinus of Poetovio (d. 303 or 304, feast day November 3) and Paulinus of Nola (about 354–431, feast day June 22). The feast day of Paulinus is still celebrated by the community of Nola, outside Naples, Italy, on the last Sunday of June during the annual Festa dei gigli (Feast of the lilies). The vessels contain silk bands from an earlier sealing, and they are now strung tight with modern threads. On both reliquaries, the wax seals found on the earlier bands and on the accompanying inscribed paper labels show identical embossed heraldic marks of unidentified origin, suggesting that these objects formed a pair or were part of a group.
Cambi Casa D'Aste, Source
S. Victorini Mari
Paper label
Primary Description: 
Colorless glass; blown, mold-blown stem. Cylindrical bowl with fire-polished rim and flat base with projecting flange; joined by merese and glue bit to second merese atop mold-blown (16 ribs) inverted baluster stem; attached by merese to a shallow blown foot with infolded rim and pontil mark. Domed lid with flanged rim, surmounted by centered raspberry prunt attached by glue bit; lid tied to vessel and sealed. Paper label: “S. Victorini Mari”. Vessels contains two pieces of bone(?).
Jurors' Choice (New Glass Review 32) (2011) illustrated, p. 82, bottom, left; BIB# AI95693
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2009 (2010) illustrated, p. 15, #6; BIB# AI79879
Cambi: Casa D'Aste in Genova (2009-09-28) illustrated, p. 57, lot 316;