World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Agate box

Article Id: WHEBN0025932214
Reproduction Date:

Title: Agate box  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Asturian architecture, Cámara Santa
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Agate box

The Agate Casket of Oviedo (Spanish: Caja de las Ágatas, sometimes in English Agate Box, "Box of Agates") is an elaborately decorated box, casket or small chest given by King Fruela II of Asturias and his wife Nunila to the Cathedral of San Salvador, Oviedo, Spain. This masterpiece of 10th century Asturian gold work is kept in the Cámara Santa (Holy Chamber) treasury.


It is a rectangular box made of wood of European Pear, with a lid in the shape of a truncated pyramid. The Agate box is 42 centimetres (17 in) long, 27.5 centimetres (10.8 in) wide and 25 centimetres (9.8 in) high. The wooden box is covered with sheets of gold forming unequal arches in which 99 large flat sections of veined agate are mounted. The gold is decorated with cabochon gemstones and coral. The top of the lid is a gold plaque with a cross and three large gems which was taken from an older piece. [1] It is decorated with small animals in enamel in a kind of champlevé technique that is only found in one other work, the South German rear cover of the Lindau Gospels, of the late 8th century, now in the Morgan Library, New York.[2]

The base of the box is made of pure silver, with a cross made of gems and with a carved tetramorph, representing the four evangelists: the angel of St. Matthew, the Lion of St. Mark, the ox of St. Luke and the eagle of St. John. The inscription which describes the donation of the box to the cathedral is engraved on the basex.[3] It reads:



  • Lasko, Peter, Ars Sacra, 800-1200, Penguin History of Art (now Yale), 1972 (nb, 1st edn.) ISBN14056036X

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.