Relics container



11th century

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Relics container in two pieces: the box is shaped as a cubic block and the lid has a four-sided pyramidal shape. Both pieces were decorated with incisions parallel to the edges with the intention of animating and beautifying the smooth surfaces of the object. According to the museum's records the object comes from somewhere in the diocese of Urgell. Most well-known medieval Catalan relic containers are made of wood, turned or simply carved, more or less carefully, often with a sliding lid; others are made from recycled exotic glasses, originally destined to other functions, and still a few others are made of metal, even less if precious. A few, not many, are made of stone, like the one we are describing. The most famous set of Catalan relic containers of this type consists of seven alabaster boxes in the shape of a casket, two of which in the museum (MEV 3964 and 9737), that have been symbolically related to the shape of reliquaries, but also of tombs. This example, on the other hand, is part of another group of relic containers made of hard material with different shapes, such as the cylindrical and carved one from Santa Maria de Lillet (Manresa Museum), the parallelepipeds with a stone or wooden lid from Lladó and Bestracà (Md'A de Girona) or even others of stucco, such as the one from Vivers, in Rosselló. With different degrees of technical skill or decorative intent (MEV 8960 is located in a medium spectrum, in this sense), relic containers made of hard material generally indicate more care in depositing the sacred relics than the ones made of wood.

Marc Sureda Jubany

Llegir més


Room4 ,Floor0

4 Romanesque Art

5-6-7-8 Gothic Art

Detalls de l’obra




11th century




8.5 x 7.5 x 5.5 cm (without the lid); 3,7 cm (lid)


From the Bishopric of Urgell


MEV 8960