The asterisk (Greek: “little star”) is a sacred vessel consisting of two arched metal bands joined together in the shape of a cross. It was placed on the patin to prevent the veil from touching the particles of the Eucharist. This particular work has a round bracket with an engraved image of the Cross of Cavalry on a niello background. Symbolising the Star of Bethlehem, the asterisk was introduced into Russian Orthodox church services in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

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