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Ca 1600 reliquary. The relique is clearly visible / and it is a relique of St Anthony of Padua. / inside the two halfs of the externally carved rock crystal. The mounts are gold.
A reliquary (also referred to as a shrine or by the French term châsse) is a container for relics. These may be the purported or actual physical remains of saints, such as bones, pieces of clothing, or some object associated with saints or other religious figures.
At first, Christians followed the same burial practices as other ancient peoples: they buried their dead, bodies intact. But soon they began to exhume certain bodies and rebury them in locations deemed more appropriate by the communities to which they had belonged. In some instances, they even divided up these bodies, distributing their components parts to those who laid claim over them.