This ogee-arch crest shows the "Praise of the Mother of God." It would have been at the top of the fourth leaf of a travel icon that was attached by piano hinges.
The Virgin Mary is the theme of the fourth panel. She stands at the center of this crest as she becomes enthroned in heaven surrounded by saints and angels bowing to her.
Metal travel icons were mostly used by the Old Believers--a sect of Russian Orthodox Christians who left the main church because of reforms by patriarch Nikon in the 1650s. They were persecuted and fled to the wilderness where they started their own monasteries. In 1723, Peter the Great banned the casting of metal icons, but they continued to be made.
Early icons were worn around the neck, fastened to the gates of houses or grave crosses, wrapped in cloth and were put in graves. The icons depicting patron saints were often given to soldiers and travelers for protection.
Russian Orthodox Ogee-Arch (Kokoshhnik) Crest; Fourth Leaf Crest
17th - 18th Century
Size: 3.13 x .13 x 2.13 inches
Weight: 1.45 oz.