ON THE RELIGIOUS USE OF VARIOUS STONES 291
is of silver gilt, measuring 64 cm. in height and 40 cm. in width, and
within it behind a crystal is set a piece of the Holy Cross. It is
profusely adorned with precious and semi-precious stones, there being
57 good-sized rubies, emeralds, sapphires, carnelians, malachites and
amethysts, besides 44 smaller stones and 299 of still lesser size. The
jewel is now preserved in the Palazzo Bianco, Genoa.
greatest treasure in the Cathedral of Chartres was the "Sacred Shrine."
It was made of cedar-wood covered with gold plates and was adorned with
an immense number of precious stones including diamonds, rubies,
emeralds, sapphires, jacinths, agates, turquoises, opals, topazes,
onyxes, chrysolites, amethysts, garnets, girasole, sardo-nyxes,
asterias, chalcedonies, heliotropes, etc. These had been presented by
many different donors during a long period of time. In front of this
shrine was a cross composed entirely of precious stones, comprising 56
rubies and garnets, 18 sapphires, 22 pearls, 8 emeralds, 8 onyxes and 4
jacinths. When this was first placed in the cathedral is not known, but
it was there in 1353, as it is noted in an inventory made at that time.
An uncut diamond weighing about 45 carats, and constituting one of the
adornments of the shrine in 1682, was said to have been the gift of a
marshal of France ; another ornament, an oval agate engraved with the
Virgin and Child, may now be seen in the Louvre where it forms part of
the Sauvageot Collection.17
all trace has been lost of an emerald engraved with the head of Christ
and given to Pope Innocent VIII by Sultan Bajazet II about the year
1488, is greatly to be deplored, even though there be no truth in the
legend or report that it had been engraved in the time of Christ by the
order of Tiberius Caesar. The evidence of two medals with Latin legends
and of certain old paintings with English inscrip-
" F. de Mêly, *' Le Trésor de Chartres 1314-1793," Parie, 1886, pp. 18-21,30.