Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God London, England
4 1/8 x 7 3/4 inches
The icon was written for a Russian warship that took part in the Russo-Japanese war in 1904-05. During a battle an explosion threw the icon into the sea. Larger than a large door, the icon helped save a number of sailors who clung to it until they were taken on board a British warship. The icon had been commissioned by training squadron officers in 1891. It was brought from Russia to England in 1935 and presented to the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God, the Russian Orthodox church in London. The image, badly damaged from shellfire, was kept for many years in the church gallery. After restoration in the 1990s, the icon was again blessed and installed in the church on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Russo-Japanese war.