St. Quirinus Shrine

Date
1597
Medium
Gilded brass, silver, semi-precious stones and glass
Dimensions
Height: 37 cm
Width: 71 cm
Depth: 39 cm
Acquisition
On loan from the Catholic St. Quirinus Parish, Neuss

Saint Quirinus is the patron saint of the city of Neuss. According to legend, he is a Roman military tribune responsible for guarding Pope Alexander I and dies a martyr's death around the year 115 after being converted to Christianity together with his daughter Balbina. The shrine was donated in 1597 by the abbess of Quirinus Cathedral, Elisabeth von Dobbe, and two collegiate ladies, as its predecessor, a medieval tumba, was destroyed in 1585 during the sacking of Quirinus Cathedral by Protestant soldiers. In the 1830s, the Neuss goldsmith Leonard Schwann reworked the shrine. Today, on its three faces, it shows figures of the twelve apostles, Mary the Mother of God and Christ the Redeemer. Quirinus is depicted as a Roman tribune with armor, shield and pennant. The shrine is decorated with semiprecious stones, imitation gemstones, a carnelian cameo and silver rosettes. Until 1900 it housed the relics of St. Quirinus.

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