This early 16th century reliquary of an unknown saint from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, is one of 150 objects that make up the British Museum's current exhibition "Treasures of Heaven: saints, relics and devotion in medieval Europe."
The reliquaries, exquisite works of art often of gold, silver and enamels or jewels, were made to contain relics of saints that were venerated by kings and commoners over a period of more than 1,000 years. The objects date from the late Roman to the late medieval. They've been gathered from 40 institutions including the Vatican, European church treasuries, US and European museums and the British Museum's own collection.
According to the British Museum, "Treasures such as these have not been seen in significant numbers in the UK since the Reformation," and the destruction saints shrines in Britain. Already gathering superlative reviews (the Guardian called the exhibition "glorious"), "Treasures of Heaven" continues until October 9.
Ticket's are £12 and can be purchased online before you arrive.
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y., courtesy of The British Museum