Two-Sided Pendant with the Archangel Michael and Daniel in the Lion’s Den

Date: 1200 or later

Geography: Made in probably Constantinople

Culture: Byzantine

Medium: Serpentine

Dimensions: Overall: 2 1/4 x 1 5/16 x 9/16 in. (5.7 x 3.4 x 1.4 cm)

Classification: Steatites

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Hayford Peirce, 1987

Accession Number: 1987.442.4


This personal icon shows the Prophet Daniel on one side and the Archangel Michael on the other. The Archangel stands with his sword drawn over his right shoulder; he leans his left hand upon the pummel of his sword while looking ahead in apparent vigilance against attack. He wears military costume, kilt and armor, and stands on the remnants of a suppedenaeum, or footstool. The appearance of this image indicates that it was frequently venerated or worn close to the body, where friction caused the wearing away of the image's details. On the opposite side, Daniel stands between two lions, who lower their heads submissively at the Prophet's feet. Details of the carving are better preserved on this side of the pendant, as is the inscription "the Prophet Daniel," formed in elegant letters utilizing ligatures.

The icon is now missing the frame and loop that allowed it to be worn as a pendant, or enkolpion.