purchasing icons, the good, the bad and the ugly

GoingByzantine

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I know, it's difficult, isn't it?

The only good thing I can say is that a couple of the icons I really wanted are very, very old ones, and so I guess there is no longer anyone receiving any money for them. I have two of them now - the Hagia Sophia Christ, and the Resurrection from the walls of a Church I can't bring to mind the name of. The other is a very particular icon of the Theotokos and Christ, and I'm not sure the age of it, but I'd really like that very exact one.

I wish I could find icons at thrift stores and such, but no one around here donates them apparently. Which too is good - I'm guessing folks then are more aware and respectful. Or else there are far fewer Orthodox here. ;) I once saw a non-standard very western-looking almost-icon of the Virgin Mary in the Catholic thrift store, but they were treating it well and asking high dollar for it.

My general understanding is that it is perfectly acceptable (at least in the U.S.) to purchase copies of "historic" icons where the author and their immediate descendants have reposed. Most of the Orthodox churches that I have been to have copies of some of the most famous icons, so this is what has led me to the conclusion that this is an acceptable practice. :)

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the miraculous Hawaiian Myrrh Bearing Icon is actually a copy of a much older icon?
 
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~Anastasia~

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My general understanding is that it is perfectly acceptable (at least in the U.S.) to purchase copies of "historic" icons where the author and their immediate descendants have reposed. Most of the Orthodox churches that I have been to have copies of some of the most famous icons, so this is what has led me to the conclusion that this is an acceptable practice. :)

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the miraculous Hawaiian Myrrh Bearing Icon is actually a copy of a much older icon?

I think it is but I'd have to double check my memory. If I'm remembering right, the one it was copied from streamed myrrh too, and it might be one that a friend told me a story about the caretaker of that one (which the icon is currently lost).

But I might be mixing them up.
 
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ArmyMatt

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I think it is but I'd have to double check my memory. If I'm remembering right, the one it was copied from streamed myrrh too, and it might be one that a friend told me a story about the caretaker of that one (which the icon is currently lost).

But I might be mixing them up.

yes, the Hawaiian Icon is a copy and a print of the Iveron Icon which was lost when Br Jose Munoz-Cortez was murdered.
 
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~Anastasia~

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yes, the Hawaiian Icon is a copy and a print of the Iveron Icon which was lost when Br Jose Munoz-Cortez was murdered.

Thank you. I was wondering if I had it mixed up with another or not.

We should pray for the caretakers of those icons. My friend helps guard the Hawaiian icon sometimes when it travels. He was so kind and sent me two small copies along with some of the myrrh ... it was a comfort I can't describe while I was going through all that cancer stuff ... and still is. I had no idea the kinds of precautions they have to take, and how dangerous it can be.

It's difficult to imagine someone wishing to steal them. Unless it is an enemy? Everything is by the grace of God, and that can't be controlled by people.
 
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~Anastasia~

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Does anyone happen to know if Orthodoxmonasteryicons.com is the same as monasteryicons.com?
They don't appear to be.

The orthodoxmonasteryicons.com says it is connected to the Paracletos Greek Orthodox Monastery in South Carolina. It checks out as being canonical.

I can't find any info on monasteryicons.com - and that's odd. I've never seen a monastery site that didn't tell you about the monastery. They list only a POBox in Ohio that I can find? (They also sell a lot of things that I wouldn't expect an Orthodox monastery to sell.)

I doubt they are connected.
 
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Anhelyna

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Monastery icons - the folk with a PO Box in Ohio are folk to stay away from. Truly they are. They keep popping up looking OK BUT their past history is most unsavoury - there's a Gnostic link some years back I believe. Irish Melkite did a really good post about them some years back.
 
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peregrinus2017

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So my first experience purchasing icons seems to cover the good, the bad, and the ugly. Maybe I am expecting too much, and would like advice. I ordered these prints in this companies "masterpiece" grade, and am really disappointed.
The woodwork on the panel itself is rather rough. The front edges were not bevelled like shown on their website,and the finishing was mediocre at best. I am told they no longer bevel the edges, and that it is more traditional without. The print itself is done on "canvas" that they tell me has the most minimal texture available, but seriously reflects light in a way I find most detrimental to the icon . Also the icons have been trimmed crooked to the grain of the canvas. To be fair, they have offered me a refund if I send them back, but I live in Canada, and shipping them back will easily cost a third of what I paid for the icons themselves. I do a fair bit of fine woodworking and carving, and I know I have a very sensitive eye for detail, so maybe I expect too much. I could probably find someone to give them to that would appreciate them. I guess my main concern is if my attitude and expectations are wrong or unrealistic. I think that any icon, even a print, deserves, or even requires thoughtful and careful creation. Below are a couple of pictures to illustrate. Any thoughts or advice is appreciated.

Indirect lighting, no flash
indirect light.JPG


With flash
top edge.JPG


Without flash
top corner.JPG
 
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~Anastasia~

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I've never gotten a canvas print - mine are all paper.

I see what you mean about the grain but for an icon it looks nice.

I'm no expert but roughness to the wood seems to be quite common.

I like a certain finish myself, and only the icon my Church gave me when I was baptized has that finish.

I'm sure someone else could say more. But yes, knowing what I know about mounting and finishing work (and I'm no expert) ... icons don't seem to very often have a slick, finished look.

If I could get appropriate prints, I'd rather do the work myself. But everything I have are things like postcards and printed cards, which I love them, but they won't produce a great effect mounted no matter what.
 
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peregrinus2017

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Thanks for the reply. My problem I guess is more with my picky nature than with the icons. I need to appreciate them for the image they bear more than how they are made. Though I will likely keep looking for something else.
 
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SaNcTaMaRiA

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So my first experience purchasing icons seems to cover the good, the bad, and the ugly. Maybe I am expecting too much, and would like advice. I ordered these prints in this companies "masterpiece" grade, and am really disappointed.
The woodwork on the panel itself is rather rough. The front edges were not bevelled like shown on their website,and the finishing was mediocre at best. I am told they no longer bevel the edges, and that it is more traditional without. The print itself is done on "canvas" that they tell me has the most minimal texture available, but seriously reflects light in a way I find most detrimental to the icon . Also the icons have been trimmed crooked to the grain of the canvas. To be fair, they have offered me a refund if I send them back, but I live in Canada, and shipping them back will easily cost a third of what I paid for the icons themselves. I do a fair bit of fine woodworking and carving, and I know I have a very sensitive eye for detail, so maybe I expect too much. I could probably find someone to give them to that would appreciate them. I guess my main concern is if my attitude and expectations are wrong or unrealistic. I think that any icon, even a print, deserves, or even requires thoughtful and careful creation. Below are a couple of pictures to illustrate. Any thoughts or advice is appreciated.

Indirect lighting, no flash
View attachment 223620

With flash
View attachment 223621

Without flash
View attachment 223622

Im no expert. However, I find this icon stunning.
 
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AMM

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Anyone know where to find some icons of Saint Jerome? After a lot of prayer and searching, my priest blessed my choice of Saint Jerome as my patron saint when my chrismation comes. But as a traditionally more "western" saint, I haven't been able to find icons of Jerome on any websites that I've looked.

Also, what should our stance be on non-Orthodox icons? The Roman Catholics have lots of icons, reliefs, statues of Jerome, for example. And one of my good friends bought me a hand-painted icon of Saint Paul from Rome. As I understand it, it shouldn't matter who made the icon -- didn't the Fathers say that icons are holy inherently because of who/what they depict? (Not because of who made them)
 
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ArmyMatt

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Anyone know where to find some icons of Saint Jerome? After a lot of prayer and searching, my priest blessed my choice of Saint Jerome as my patron saint when my chrismation comes. But as a traditionally more "western" saint, I haven't been able to find icons of Jerome on any websites that I've looked.

Also, what should our stance be on non-Orthodox icons? The Roman Catholics have lots of icons, reliefs, statues of Jerome, for example. And one of my good friends bought me a hand-painted icon of Saint Paul from Rome. As I understand it, it shouldn't matter who made the icon -- didn't the Fathers say that icons are holy inherently because of who/what they depict? (Not because of who made them)

we have some iconographers on here so they might hook you up.

if you get a priest to bless even a Western painting or icon of an Orthodox saint, it can be used for home use provided it isn't heretical (such as Western depictions of God the Father).
 
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HoleyHermit

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Anyone know where to find some icons of Saint Jerome? After a lot of prayer and searching, my priest blessed my choice of Saint Jerome as my patron saint when my chrismation comes. But as a traditionally more "western" saint, I haven't been able to find icons of Jerome on any websites that I've looked.

Also, what should our stance be on non-Orthodox icons? The Roman Catholics have lots of icons, reliefs, statues of Jerome, for example. And one of my good friends bought me a hand-painted icon of Saint Paul from Rome. As I understand it, it shouldn't matter who made the icon -- didn't the Fathers say that icons are holy inherently because of who/what they depict? (Not because of who made them)
I’ve bought a number of icons on eBay. There are a few icons of St. Jerome currently available there.
 
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prodromos

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Anyone know where to find some icons of Saint Jerome? After a lot of prayer and searching, my priest blessed my choice of Saint Jerome as my patron saint when my chrismation comes. But as a traditionally more "western" saint, I haven't been able to find icons of Jerome on any websites that I've looked.

Also, what should our stance be on non-Orthodox icons? The Roman Catholics have lots of icons, reliefs, statues of Jerome, for example. And one of my good friends bought me a hand-painted icon of Saint Paul from Rome. As I understand it, it shouldn't matter who made the icon -- didn't the Fathers say that icons are holy inherently because of who/what they depict? (Not because of who made them)
You're not a translator by any chance?
 
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prodromos

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Not currently - but I love learning languages and am going to (re)start learning Greek and Latin soon
I wondered, being that St Jerome is considered the patron saint of translators.
 
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AMM

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I wondered, being that St Jerome is considered the patron saint of translators.
That was a piece of it. And just that he is the patron saint of scholars, students, etc. in general. He also studied under Gregory Nazianzen whom I did a research project on: St Gregory was the one who showed me that Orthodoxy really was old and its teachings (the ones different from Lutheran teachings) were found in the early church. Without getting too much into the personal details of my life, I also relate to his story quite a bit.
 
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Shawn P

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They don't appear to be.

The orthodoxmonasteryicons.com says it is connected to the Paracletos Greek Orthodox Monastery in South Carolina. It checks out as being canonical.

I can't find any info on monasteryicons.com - and that's odd. I've never seen a monastery site that didn't tell you about the monastery. They list only a POBox in Ohio that I can find? (They also sell a lot of things that I wouldn't expect an Orthodox monastery to sell.)

I doubt they are connected.

That PO Box is for a fulfillment center that handles online stores, website maintenance, shipping, warehouse storage, and customer service for some 30 or more companies. If you ever order Avon, Nike shoes, Hugo Boss suits or a whole bunch of other things, they will have the same return address as Monastery Icons. I used to work for this 3rd-party company a long, long time ago. Monastery Icons may have no physical presence in Ohio at all. I don't quite remember, and I never directly handled anything to do with their account.

I'm glad I read all the way through this thread. I might have otherwise ordered from them, having a bit of familiarity with the company and not really knowing better about their origins and history.
 
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