Exhibitions/ Art Object
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The Attarouthi Treasure - Silver Dove

Date:
500–650
Geography:
Made in Attarouthi, Syria
Culture:
Byzantine
Medium:
Silver
Dimensions:
Overall (with wings): 3 5/8 x 6 1/4 x 2 11/16 in. (9.2 x 15.8 x 6.8 cm) Overall (Body only): 2 7/16 x 2 7/16 x 6 1/4 in. (6.2 x 6.2 x 15.8 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Silver
Credit Line:
Purchase, Rogers Fund and Henry J. and Drue E. Heinz Foundation, Norbert Schimmel, and Lila Acheson Wallace Gifts, 1986
Accession Number:
1986.3.15
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 300
The dove, with wings spread and feet tucked up as if in flight, represents the Holy Spirit that appeared over the head of Christ as he was baptized by Saint John the Forerunner (John 1:32). Early authors mention the presence of doves over altars in churches from Constantinople to Tours in France. This is the earliest known example of the type. Originally a small cross hung from the loop in its beak.
Church in Attarouthi, Syria; [ Elias Bustros, Beirut (by 1940)]; [ Sleiman Abou Taam, Beirut and Switzerland (1965–1986)]
Frazer, Margaret English. "Oreficerie altomedievali." In Monza: il Duomo e i suoi tesori, edited by Roberto Conti. Milan: Electa, 1988. pp. 19-22.

Frazer, Margaret English. "Silver Liturgical Objects from Attarouthi in Syria." In Byzantine Studies Conference Abstracts of Papers. Vol. 14. Madison, Wisconsin: Byzantine Studies Conference, 1988. pp. 13-14.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "One Hundred Twentieth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1989, through June 30, 1990." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 120 (1990). p. 28.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, edited by Kathleen Howard. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994. no. 12, p. 376.

Maguire, Henry P. The Icons of their Bodies: Saints and Their Images in Byzantium. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996. p. 105.

Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 46, pp. 37–38.

Dandridge, Pete. "A Study of the Gilding of Silver in Byzantium." In Gilded Metals: History, Technology and Conservation. London: Archetype Publications, 2000. pp. 125-139, fig. 7.1.

Eisenberg, Jerome M. "The New Byzantine Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art." Minerva 12, no. 3 (2001). pp. 26-27, fig. 13.

Evans, Helen C., Melanie Holcomb, and Robert Hallman. "The Arts of Byzantium." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 58, no. 4 (Spring 2001). pp. 38, 50, 60.

Elbern, Victor. "Zehn Kelche und eine Taube : Bemerkungen zum liturgischen Schatzfund von Attarouhti [ Attarouthi ]." Oriens Christianus 88 (2004). pp. 233-253, fig. 1, 8-9.

Dandridge, Pete. "The Exhibition of Unlacquered Silver at the Metropolitan Museum of Art." Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 44 (2005). pp. 178-179.

Bouras, Laskarina, and Maria G. Parani. Lighting in Early Byzantium. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 2008. pp. 17-18.

Barnet, Peter. "Medieval Europe." In Philippe de Montebello and The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1977–2008, edited by James R. Houghton. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009. p. 25.

Piguet-Panayotova, Dora. "The Attarouthi Chalices." Mitteilungen zur spätantiken Archäologie und byzantinischen Kunstgeschichte 6 (2009). pp. 9-76, fig. 1.

Scott, David A. Ancient Metals: Microstructure and Metallurgy. Vol. 1. Los Angeles: Conservation Science Press, 2011. p. 41.

Evans, Helen C., and Brandie Ratliff, ed. Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, 7th–9th century. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. no. 22N, pp. 9, 42-43.



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