Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The Cathedral of Siena (Part 13): Liturgical Objects in the Cathedral Museum

The next-to-last part of our series on the cathedral of Siena focuses mostly on liturgical objects, including a very beautiful set of all the items needed for solemn Mass, donated by Pope Alexander VII Chigi (1655-66), a native of the city who showered the church with gifts and artistic commissions. We also see here some very nice reliquaries, medieval ivory crooks, and pax bredes.

A golden rose designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and gifted to the cathedral by Pope Alexander in 1658; the base represents the six hills on which the city stands, also seen below in the Pope’s coat of arms. The celebrated artist was a close personal friend of the Pope and worked for him on many artistic projects in Rome and environs. 
A papal tiara also donated by Pope Alexander VII...
whose coat of arms is seen on the outside of its box. The Sienese banking family of the Chigi had moved to Rome at the beginning of the 16th century, and restarted their bank with a large loan from Pope Julius II Della Rovere. The “interest” which Pope charged was not monetary, but a promise to quarter their arms with his wherever they were publically displayed; hence the quartering of the six hlls of Siena (Chigi) with the oak tree (Della Rovere.)

Statues with relics of several Saints brought from Roma embedded in the busts, including Saints Peter, Paul and Lawrence.

A complete set of liturgical accoutrement donated by Pope Alexander for the altar of the chapel which he had built in 1660 for the Madonna del Voto.

A bucket for the sprinking of holy water at the Asperges and various blessings, an aspergil with a rock crystal head, and a dish for purifying the fingers after the distribution of Holy Communion.

A pax brede, still very much in use in the 17th century.
The incense boat.
A plate used to receive things like the pontifical gloves or the zucchetto when they were taken off during the Mass.

A reliquary made to be carried in procession.
Another with the relics of a martyr named Clement, not the famous Pope, most likely discovered in the Roman catacombs, and otherwise unknown.

Reliquary of the mandible of St Ansano, the first evangelizer of Siena, made ca. 1660.
Three medieval croziers made of ivory.
A pax brede of the mid-15th century, originally made in Germany, left to the cathedral by the will of Giacomo Todeschini Piccolomini, nephew of Pope Pius II and brother of Pope Pius III.

A morse for a cope; 15th century.
A pax brede for Eastertide, with an image of the Incredulity of St Thomas; 1608.
A pax brede with an angel holding the veil of Veronica, for Lent and Passiontide: mid-17th century.
A decorative hat for an infant at baptism.
A cushion made to be used as a missal-stand.

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