Collection Online

Reliquary jar
(17th century)

Medium
glass (applied decoration)
Measurements
(a-b) 23.5 × 8.6 cm diameter (overall)
Place/s of Execution
Venice, Italy
Accession Number
90.a-b-D1R
Department
International Decorative Arts
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1871
© Public Domain
Gallery location
14th - 16th Century Gallery - Painting & Decorative Arts
Level 1, NGV International
About
The Protestant Reformation and the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation saw profound changes in the cult of relics. The Protestant reformers rejected relics entirely, while at the Council of Trent the Catholic Church promulgated strict new guidelines about the authentication, display and adoration of relics. Emphasis was placed upon the visibility of the relic in its reliquary, and clear labelling of the relic’s source. This covered glass jar is a form frequently used to house relics. Threads would be tied around the knop on the lid and the stem of the jar and then sealed with wax, protecting the contents from being tampered with.