Russian bronze and enamel folding triptych


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This folding triptych contains three hinged panels, one of which folds to be nestled between the other two, allowing the triptych to fold flat. The triptych, crafted from bronze and enamel, contains three images: one of Jesus Christ, one of Mary, and one of John the Baptist. The piece thus functions as a form of portable altarpiece. Moreover, in addition to its Christian significance, the triptych demonstrates significant artistic accomplishment independent of any religious overtones.

The inside of the triptych contains three figurative images, each one a piece of skillfully rendered bas-relief sculpture in bronze. The figures are highly stylised in manner, evincing characteristics of Byzantine and Eastern Orthodox art. Moreover, the figures are surrounded by profuse enamel work. The black and white vitreous enamel has been set into cells cast into the bronze—almost like champlevé enamelwork—in a variety of scrolling foliate, arabesque, and geometrical forms. The effect is visually spectacular and artistically accomplished.

The triptych folds flat, revealing an outer bronze surface cast and chased in a manner imitative of wood.

Width when open: 34.5cm
Width when closed: 15cm


Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Christian, Religious, Russian Interest
Bronze, Enamel
Black, Brown, White


16.5 cm / 6.3 inches
34.5 cm / 13.4 inches
2 cm / 0.8 inches


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