A Thousand Words
The Alfred Jewel
by Mary Elizabeth Podles
The gold, enamel, and crystal ornament known as the Alfred Jewel, standing slightly over 2.5 inches high, is a dazzling display of Anglo-Saxon workmanship from the late ninth century, a period that we generally consider rather a dark age. The front of the jewel depicts a half-length figure holding two foliated scepters; he has been variously interpreted as Christ in majesty, Christ as the Divine Wisdom, or perhaps, based on comparison to other contemporary images, the sense of sight. The enamel plaque is executed in cloisonné, that is, the outlines are made from gold wires attached to a back plate, and the colors are laid in with enamel and fired. The back . . .
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
Mary Elizabeth Podles is the retired curator of Renaissance and Baroque art at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. She and her husband Leon, a Touchstone senior editor, have six children and live in Baltimore, Maryland.
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
more on art from the online archives
• Subscribers: Manage your subscription account here.
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives