Lot 3

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A LARGE AND IMPRESSIVE RUSSIAN ICON OF THE TIKHVIN MOTHER OF GOD, CIRCA 1600, MOSCOW.  The corners of the upper margins with small circular plaques displaying small plaques displaying the standard abbreviated Greek title MP OY (Meter Theou) for the Mother of God. She bears a star upon each shoulder and on her head, signifying her perpetual virginity before, during and after the birth of Christ. Above the head of Christ the standard Greek abbreviated title ICXC - ISUS KHRISTOS. Christ delivers a blessing with His right hand and holds a scroll (signifying His wisdom) in His left hand. The Virgin gestures towards Christ, directing the viewer to the source of eternal life-her son, Christ Jesus. The upper corners painted with Angels of the Lord. The borders and background overlaid with silver repousse basma strips and the haloes similarly decorated. 20 inches x 18 inches (51 x 46 cm).

Estimate:  $8,000 - 12,000   € 7,200 - 10,800
Price Realized: $27,500.00

The Tikhvin Mother of God is one of four well-known Russian Miracle-Working images of the Mother of God. Along with the Vladimir, Kazan, and Smolensk, the Tikhvin has a long and interesting history. The original Tikhvin was believed to have been painted by Saint Luke, who sent it as a gift to the ruler Theophilus at Antioch. After Thoephilus' death it went to Jerusalem. In the 5th century it was sent as a gift to Pulcheria, sister of Theodosius the Younger, in Constantinople and the Church of the Blachernae was built to house it, where it remained for over five hundred years under the title Hodigitria. In 1383, knowing of the approaching fall of Constantinople to the Turks, the icon left that city for Russia. Fishermen saw it in a circle of light over Lake Ladoga, and then it appeared again near Lake Onega, then on the Oyat River, and then twice more, moving ever closer to Tikhvin. Finally, it appeared on the bank of the Tikhvinka River in 1383, during the reign of Dmitriy Donskoy. The icon was placed in a wooden church which then burned in 1390, but the icon was found unharmed in a juniper bush. In 1395 it survived another fire, and in 1500 yet another. In the 16th century it was placed in a brick church dedicated to the Dormition, and in 1613, after the vision of a blind widow, it was used to repel the invading Swedes. In 1944, during the Soviet oppression of the Russian Orthodox Church, the icon was rescued, eventually coming to the United States for safekeeping by future Archbishop John Garklavs. In 2004, it was transferred back to Russia and returned to its home village of Tikhvin. The Tikhvin Mother of God is the Patroness of families.

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