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Lot 0209
**Originally Listed At $250**

Eastern Europe, Russia, ca. late 19th to early 20th century CE. A striking icon depicting the Mother of God (Theotokos) as the Virgin Hodegetria. According to legend, this icon restored the eyesight of two blind men – hence, the name Hodegetria meaning, “She who gives sight” or “shows the way”. The Virgin holds the Child in her left hand while the baby Jesus, dressed in a regal himation gives benediction. Interestingly, the painted imagery is directly on the metal ground, surrounded by a gilded silver integral oklad with halos and vestments in repousse, and a raised frame featuring attractive Russian geometric strapwork motifs. The entire composition is attached to a fabric covered wood mount. Size: 4.375" W x 5.25" H (11.1 cm x 13.3 cm)

Icons (icon means "image" in Greek) are sacred objects within the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition. Found in homes as well as churches, these painted images depict holy persons and saints as well as illustrate scenes from the Scriptures. Some icons are encased in precious metal covers (oklads) adorned with pearls and semi-precious stones or glass-fronted wooden cases (kiots) or as we see in this example, decorated with liberal gold leaf strapwork and faux enamelwork. Icons are not worshiped, but are instead venerated for their ability to focus the power of an individual's prayer to God. As such they are truly "windows into heaven."

Provenance: ex-Lilly and Francis Robicsek collection, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

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Surface wear with some pigment loss and areas of oxidation commensurate with age. A few nails missing or replaced, though all show signs of age.

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19th C. Russian Icon of Theotokos as Virgin Hodegetria

Estimate $400 - $600Jul 30, 2018