Reliquary Chest

This reliquary casket, and others like it, were made to contain the relics of saints. These relics were either small pieces of the saint’s body or objects that were associated with the saint and believed to have holy power that could perform miracles. Reliquaries came in many different forms, but this specific reliquary casket was produced in the city of Limoges, France, which in the 13th century was a center of manufacturing and exporting reliquaries. The shape of the reliquary casket was meant to echo that of a tomb or a cathedral, and it was decorated with images of saints and other holy figures on the outside. Reliquaries like this served as the center of a saint’s shrine in a church or abbey.