Triptych of the Kazan Mother of God. The Holy Virgin and Child are flanked on either side by Archangel Michael on the left and Archangel Gabriel on the right who bow reverently in prayer. Archangel Michael is Chief Commander of the Heavenly Hosts, a warrior with a red cloak, a long staff and an orb with the Slavonic initials "IC" (Jesus). Archangel Gabriel is the Herald of the Mysteries of God, especially the Incarnation of God and all other mysteries related to it. He too holds a staff and an orb with the initial "XC" (Christ). The orbs represent earthly authority. Above the Mother of God is a small round icon with the face of Christ. This image is also known as "Not-made-by--hands" or Holy Mandylion (Napkin). The liturgical name for this type is Christ Acheiropoietos, which means "a divinely wrought portrait".
Our Lady of Kazan represents the Virgin Mary as protector and patron of Her city. Originally the icon was found in a garden in 1579. It was carried by Prince Pozharsky into battle after which a church was built in Kazan in 1679. Due to its miraculous nature, the original icon had been moved to Moscow, thus a copy was installed. In 1821, the first icon traveled to St. Petersburg where it was put in the, at the time, newly constructed Kazan Cathedral on Nevsky Prospect. In 1918, the icon was seized by the Soviet Government, and while en route to Moscow, it vanished.
Two brass knobs serve as the icon door handles. The triptych is positioned on a small stepped platform, which is decorated with elaborate free-hand gold scroll work, as are the doors and the top. The images of the Mother of God and Christ are delicately painted on mother-of-pearl which catches the light and creates a soft glow. One of the finer triptychs from Mstera we have seen in a while. We would rate this one an 8 out 10 (hight quality). Hand made of papier-mache, mother of pearl (abalone), egg tempera paints, gold and gold paint, clear lacquer. Made in Mstera, Russia. 6" x 3" closed - 6" x 6¼" when open.