The treasury is housed on the third and fourth floors of the tower.
The same floors are used to display the most valuable possessions
of the monastery (portable icons, sacred vessels, sacerdotal vestments,
manuscripts, other documents and so on). It should however be stressed
that what the monastery has today is only a fraction of a host of
precious objects it possessed in the past, the greater part having
been lost because of unfortunate incidents and circumstances, the
last being the deadly repercussions of the failure of the Greek
revolution on Mount Athos in 1821 that has already been mentioned.
One of the most precious items is a Byzantine epitaphios offered
by the founders, an example of excellent artwork and gold-embroidering
which has survived in very good condition. The dead Christ is depicted
against a background of scattered crosses of different shapes, and
on each of its four corners are embroidered angels holding flabella.
Dating from the sixteenth century is a gold-embroidered pallium
of Patriarch Jeremiah the Tranos who was a benefactor of the monastery
in many ways. This pallium bears a gold-embroidered dedicatory inscription
and is ornamented with scenes of the Dodekaorton and portraits of
hierarchs. There are also other gold-embroidered archiepiscopal
Dating back to the seventeenth century is a stole with multi-figure
scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, and dating from the eighteenth
and nineteenth centuries are many items of sacerdotal vestment and
other embroidered pieces among which notable for their artistic
merit are a velvet gold-embroidered sakkos, an epigonation of 1726
where Christ is depicted as a high priest together with the evangelists,
and two embroidered icons of St Charalambos and St Mark the Evangelist
that used to belong to Sacristan Cyril.
Also of particular value is a small fragment from the shield of
St Mercurius adorned with enamelled representations of the Veneration
of the Three Magi and portraits of prophets. The ornamentation of
this piece must have been done in either Dutch or German workshops
in the thirteenth or fourteenth century.
Gold-embroidered Epitaphios offered by the founders. Fourteenth
The rest of the items of silver and other metals
(sacred vessels, crosses, buckles and so on) date from the seventeenth
and particularly the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The oldest
dated vessel is a silver chalice of 1621. It was gold-plated and
enamelled by a goldsmith called Photius. This chalice belonged to
Priest Constantine. From 1777 come a silver-bound gospel with scenes
from the Dodekaorton, a silver cross and two silver exapteryga.
The exapteryga have medallions of rhinoceros horn in the middle,
each finely carved with miniature scenes on both sides. All were
given by Cyril, the very active sacristan of that period.
Enamelled fragment of St Mercurius’ shield. Thirteenth/fourteenth
Dating from 1788 is a cross with wire decoration and containing
a fragment of the True Cross in the middle of it. This cross, the
work of the silversmith Panagis, is a votive offering of Prohegoumenos
Benjamin from Mytelini. From the same period also come some wire-braided
blessing crosses and a wire-braided censer as well as an archbishop’s
staff and a buckle of the Metropolitan of Crete Zacharias Maridakis,
who is depicted on a portable icon he offered to the monastery in
There are also many vessels and objects from the workshops of Russian
silversmiths of the nineteenth century, the fruits of alms-begging
by Pantokrator monks in Russia. Among them are a chalice of 1818
from Moscow, adorned with nielo representations, a gospel dated
between 1810 and 1819 with a relief of the Dormition of the Theotokos
on one side, and two pectorals with high quality enamelling work.
A very rare item is a glazed holy water phial from the famous potteries
of Nikaia (Iznik) with a wonderful flora and fauna decoration. There
is also an impressive iron chest, decorated on the outside with
paintings and on the inside with engraved designs. This chest was
made by order of Prohegoumenos Leontios in 1737 in order to provide
a safe place in which to keep the monastery’s relics. It is a unique
example of its kind, the work of Greek craftsmen in Adrianople.
Ceramic, glazed holy water phial from Nikaia. Sixteenth century.