Carved Transylvanian Ark

Carved Transylvanian Ark


A substantial carved wood ark, made in Transylvania circa 1880. It has a pitched top with a shaped handle. The top, front and sides are covered with geometric carvings and some dark staining, now faded.

The ark is carved throughout with circles, symbolising the sun. The sun has been an important sign of protection in Romania since ancient times, when the Dacian people worshipped a sun cult.

This ark was most probably a made for a Saxon church in Transylvania. There were many different ethnic groups living in Transylvania - including Romanians, Hungarians and, in this case, Saxons from Germany. Here we can see how the local Romanian sun symbol was adopted by these foreign groups.

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