Phylactery of Saint Martin

Thanks to its dimensions and sumptuous appearance, this reliquary containing a saint’s finger is one of the most emblematic works of the Treasure of Oignies. On its front, entirely decorated in silver gilt filigree and small pearls, are twelve rock crystal cabochons that cover the “authentications”. The relic is held in the centre and surrounded by an identifying inscription. The faithful are encouraged to pray for the work’s creator. On the reverse side a Virgin with Child is represented. The work can certainly be identified as one of Brother Hugo’s and his workshop.

A phylactery is a reliquary, whose origin lies in the Greek word that designated the amulet that Christians in the Orient liked to wear around their neck.

Phylactery of Saint Martin

Hugo d’Oignies and workshop
c. 1230

Wood, silver, gold, rock crystal, precious stones, parchment
39 cm ø

Donated by the Sisters of Notre-Dame de Namur

Musée provincial des Arts anciens du Namurois-Trésor d'Oignies (TreM.a)
Inv. no. TO 12