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Monymusk reliquary

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Monymusk reliquary
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This portable reliquary, known as the Monymusk Reliquary, is one of Scotland's greatest treasures. It dates from around 750, and was an important object into the Middle Ages. This picture shows the front 'wall' of the reliquary.

The interlaced animals on the silver plates are picked out by a background of stippled punched marks. The technique is Pictish, paralleled on other Pictish metalwork such as some of the objects in the St. Ninian's Isle hoard.

House-shaped reliquaries are distinctively Irish in shape and decoration. The Monymusk reliquary is unique for its Pictish decoration, although it is not known whether the reliquary was actually made in Pictland - the northern half of Scotland.

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