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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

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icon

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    2012,8039.1

  • Description

    Icon with the Nativity of Christ; egg tempera on wood with linen and gesso.

  • Date

    • 17thC
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 440 millimetres
    • Width: 330 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Greek
      • Inscription Position

        Upper left
      • Inscription Language

        Greek
      • Inscription Transliteration

        HXV GENN
      • Inscription Translation

        Birth of Christ
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Greek
      • Inscription Position

        above Christ's head
      • Inscription Language

        Greek
      • Inscription Transliteration

        IC XC
      • Inscription Translation

        Jesus Christ
      • Inscription Type

        signature
      • Inscription Script

        Greek
      • Inscription Position

        bottom left
      • Inscription Language

        Greek
      • Inscription Transliteration

        XEIP KWNCATINOY TZANE
      • Inscription Translation

        By the hand of Konstantinos Tzanes
  • Curator's comments

    Published: R. Cormack, Icons, London (British Museum), 2014, 140, no 112. The icon was erroneously submitted for sale to Christie's in 1991 and subsequently withdrawn from sale (Christie's, Icons, South Kensington, Wednesday 4 December 1991, lot 36, 7, ill. on 6).

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated events

    • Named in Inscription: Nativity of Christ
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    2012

  • Acquisition notes

    The icon was acquired by Lady Norton, wife of the late Sir Clifford Norton K.C.M.G., C.V.O. immediately after World War Two. Sir Clifford was H.M. ambassador to Athens between March 1946 and December 1951, and the icon was acquired at some point during his tenure in Athens. It remained in the family's possession until Sir Clifford's death in London on 6th December 1990. In his will he bequeathed the icon to John Craxton RA who on his death on 17 Novmber 2009 bequeathed it to the BM. Any exhibition label should note that the icon was 'Bequeathed by John Craxton RA in memory of Lady Norton'

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    2012,8039.1


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Object reference number: MCB35060

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