This small 8th century wooden casket with ornate fittings may have contained the relics of a saint or anointing oil for religious ceremonies.
They were used for swearing oaths, establishing churches and bringing saintly protection in battle. This is also one of the most important and early Christian objects to survive in Scotland.
Initial interpretations suggested a connection with St Columba and the object was called the “Breac Beannach”. This translates as “the glittering peaked one” : sometimes used figuratively for the gable of a house. The would connect with the appearance of the object looking like a small shrine or church.
The object is in the care of The National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.