Reliquary bust of one of Saint Ursula’s virgins, Anonymous, c. 1325 - c. 1349

Reliquary bust of one of Saint Ursula’s virgins, Anonymous, c. 1325 - c. 1349

walnut (hardwood), h 26.6cm. More details

According to legend, the Christian princess Ursula and her retinue of 11,000 virginal handmaidens were murdered near Cologne by Huns. Their numerous relics were preserved in the basilica of St Ursula and other churches in Cologne, particularly in wooden reliquary busts such as this. The victim’s relics could be seen by the faithful through the opening in the bust.

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