Monday, March 12, 2012

Remains of a Date

Reliquary of St. Balbina

Last week Micky and I had a date with New York City. We slept in, ate brunch and dessert (because why not!) at Peels on the Bowery, took the D then the A train way uptown to The Cloisters where we saw some really old chess pieces and Medieval art, rode the train back downtown to the Lower East Side where we stopped in at the Essex Street Market to buy a couple of handmade caramels from Saxelby Cheesemongers, grabbed a beer at The Magician (where we had our first date), went to a gallery opening to see the work of my friend Pooneh, then topped the night off with dinner at a cozy French bistro nearby called Antibes. It was absolutely the most perfect day. Made even more perfect by my discoveries at The Cloisters that afternoon: Creepy! Wonderful! Reliquaries! 

The three busts featured here were made circa 1520, possibly in Belgium, and definitely held relics—skulls to be exact. Reliquaries were made to hold the bones or hair of a holy person (First-Class Relic), an item worn or owned by a holy person (Second-Class Relic), or an object that has touched a First- or Second-Class Relic (Third-Class Relic), and they were thought to possess great power.

Arm Reliquary, circa 1230, used by clergy to bless people or heal the sick

Foot Reliquary 

Handblown Glass Reliquaries

- Cathleen 

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