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Can anyone help identify an icon?

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paulH01
Posts: 9
Joined: 26 Jun 2020, 09:41

Can anyone help identify an icon?

Post by paulH01 »

... as in the photo below. About 10cm in diameter, wooden, with a hook on one end, provenance probably Ukrainian/Russian, maybe Jewish.

Has anyone any ideas about what it is, or what it might represent?

Thanks
Paul H
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VALLMO9
Posts: 387
Joined: 13 Jun 2020, 21:28

Re: Can anyone help identify an icon?

Post by VALLMO9 »

Nice icon -- where did you get it? He could be a Boyar (possibly Russian). They wore similar hats and colourful coats, like your chap does. The symbols on his coat make me think your icon could be the image/replica of a 16th-17th century Russian Boyar.

paulH01
Posts: 9
Joined: 26 Jun 2020, 09:41

Re: Can anyone help identify an icon?

Post by paulH01 »

Thank you very much for this! Yes, he does look as if he might be a Boyar, now I've looked it up, probably Russian, from the pictures I've seen.
Which actually brings me more questions than answers....
The icon was amongst a (very few) things that I got from my grandfather. He died when I was about five and my father wouldn't talk about his background (maybe in those days it wasn't good to talk about it in England).
Research, using the little information I have, shows that my grandfather was born just west of Kiev (then in the Russian Empire, now Ukraine, of course). His parents have Jewish names but my grandfather did not continue this (and took UK citizenship) when he came over here.
My DNA shows about an appropriate amount of Azhkenazi, and cousin matches indicate a possible path taken from Germany through Austro-Hungary and Poland (possibly Belarus/Lithuania/Latvia too) to western Ukraine, both west or south of Kiev (not further).
So, geographically, it might seem that I could have a Boyar as an ancestor, otherwise, why would he have the icon? But that doesn't fit in very well with the religious side; I read that Boyars didn't necessarily have to be Russian Orthodox, but don't think that they included Jews amongst their number.
Either way, I suspect this will remain a mystery (unless anyone has any other ideas?), but at the very least, it's an interesting connection to have!

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