The Treasure
Annexed to the Chapel is the Treasure, comprising objects of immense artistic and historical value:   precious Arabic caskets in ivory and Egyptians, decrease to us, ostensori, reliquiari, seal
 mesopotamic, vasellame of hurled silver, sacred vestments, liturgic objects, urns d' silver and in the
 Tabulary  purpurea parchment that brings the date of the consacrazione of the Chapel head, 1140



The exposed works



Jewel box
with Arabic epigraph

12th – 13th c.

Back of a jewel box (taken in 1309 as a reliquary), one of the rarest examples of medieval Muslim art. The inscriptions, in "neski" characters, and the decorations, are realised with ivory incrustations on black background.



with hunting scenes

12th century (c.)

Box in parallelepiped shape, ivory covered and painted in gold. It shows hunting scenes with the falcon.


Dimensions of the object

17,5 x 48,3 x 19,5 cm. 




Trunk box

Antecedent to 1309, year of its first record.

ox in trunk shape, plated with trapezoidal ebony and ivory sheets, alternated so as to create dichromate hexagons with three-dimensional effect.

Dimensions of the object

52 x 29 cm to base and 35 cm to the overflow






11th – 12th century

Box with geometric ivory, ebony and mastic inlays (concentric squares and octagons). Of parallelepiped shape, with cut-pyramidal cover, this typology is also present in Spain.


Dimensions of the object
34 x 22 cm to base and 17 x 9 cm in the top cut. Height of the parallelepiped base: 22 cm




11th – 12th century

Box in parallelepiped shape, with cut - pyramidal cover entirely ivory plated, with armours and locks in golden bronze. Assigned as a reliquary.


Dimensions of the object
20 x 14 cm to the base. Maximum height: 12 cm




Ivory box

presumed 12th century

Box in parallelepiped shape, entirely built in ivory, attributable to Sicilian-Muslim handcraft of the Norman period.


Dimensions of the object
section 12 x 6 cm



Ivory box

presumed 11th century

Plated box of parallelepiped shape, ivory plated, with carved figures into panels, circled by a frame of rosettes gripped in carved rounds.
Probably Byzantine art.

Dimensions of the object
42 x 17 x 11 cm.





Ivory box

Supposed from the 12th century.

Walnut rectangular box, ivory plated, with phytomorphic patterned squares, sliding closure and handle. Probably Byzantine art.

Dimensions of the object
42 x 17 x 11 cm





Staved rectangular box

Supposed from the 12th-13th centuries

    Wooden box, ivory plated, composed by staves decorated with concentric circles. Probably Byzantine handcrafted.

Dimensions of the object
42 x 17 x 11 cm


          Pastoral  -     Glass Ampulle   -   Cylindrical  Seal -  Reliquiaries of the Holy cross


St.Cataldo, Bishop of Taranto

X - XI sec

Ivory pastoral crosier probably owned by St. Cataldo, bishop of Taranto. Information on this object is deduced from an inventory of the year 1309, (parchment of the Palatine Chapel). Decorated (probably in the 12th century) with fabricated jewels. It has been recovered and restored in 1981.


The Holy Land (?)

Glass ampulla

Supposed from the 12th-13th centuries.

Glass ampulla used, as indicated in the enclosed script, to contain "de pane Domini" (the  bread of the Lord).

Dimensions of the objects
Max diameter : 5.5 cm ; min diameter : 2.5 cm ; height :
6 cm



Monastery of Mount Sinai (?)

Glass ampulla

    Supposed from the      12th-13th centuries
Glass ampulla used as a reliquary to contain "De liquore capitis S. Caterine". This is what was indicated in an enclosed script. In the middle age, the devotion to St. Catherine was very popular. As well as the use to go on a pilgrimage to the great monastery on Mount Sinai, to purchase some relics of the body of the Saint that was lying there.

Dimensions of the object
Height 5.13 cm; Diameters 1.5 cm close to the edge and 3 cm max.


Salonika (?)

Glass ampulla

Supposed from the 12th-13th centuries

Glass ampulla used as a reliquary to contain the blood of St. Demetrius from Sirmio, martyr of Salonika. Nowadays empty.

Dimensions of the object
Height 4.2 cm



Cylindrical seal (roller)

Supposed from the third millennium BC

Seal from the Mesopotamia datable from 2330 BC It reproduces a scene of Presentation (of probably the owner) to a god. Extremely rare and precious object, probably belonging to one of the Kings of the Sicilian-Norman dynasty, probably taken, or offered to the king, as part of a loot, after an expedition in the Holy Land, mistaken for and treasured as a holy relic.

Dimensions of the object
Diameter: 1.7 cm ; Height 3.5 cm



The Holy Land (?)

Reliquaries of the Holy Cross

XII - XIII sec.

Cross-shaped reliquaries. The first on the left is constituted by two cross-shaped valves with hinges, that, when closed, give shape to the recipient of the wooden relic. One of the two parts of the second (made of wood) is missing.

Dimensions of the object
Metallic cross: arms, 3.5 cm ; longitudinal body 5,5 cm.
Wooden  cross : longer axe 4.5 cm
; 1.7 cm shorter axe


 Reliquiary with ulna and the radius of St.Agatha
 Tabulary with parchments from' XI to XVIII Century.

Thebes of Greece (?)



   Parchment (first part) in Greek language, containing the chapters of the Confraternity of St. Mary the Naupattitissa.

Dimensions of the object
143 x 42 cm



XII  Century

Book of the martyrdoms " Ecclesiae Make happy Palatii Urbis Panormi… ". The manuscript, to beyond the liturgic value, is conceived like a real medieval history book. Filler precise notations on the age normanna and that sveva, beyond that the died dates of of numerous monarchs, principles and ecclesiastics.

Dimensions of the object

20 x 14 cm

Place of conservation

Palermo, Treasure of the Cathedral



Manuscript in parchment  of the second half of  sec. XII.

The Code, that it introduces the neumatica said musical notation, is from reconnecting to the liturgic use of the Chapel head Tippet, on the whole monumental the inserted Church of the Real Palace of Palermo, today Center of the Sicilian Regional Assembly and constitutes one of the principal sources for the study of the sicilian-normanna musical tradition.

Place of conservation

Library Centers
of the Sicilian Region


Seal of Walter Archbispop of Palerme

eal affixed to a deed witnessing to the transfer of the royal tombs by Walter, archbishop of Palermo, during reconstruction of the cathedral, which began under him in 1185.
The lead seal or "bull" shows on the obverse the Madonna and Child, to whom the cathedral is dedicated, and on the reverse a symbolic representation of the monument. The seal bears the Latin inscriptions: "Seal of St Mary's Church of Palermo" and "Church of Palermo".
The document to which it is attached is one of the rare contemporary archives of the cathedral reconstruction and was issued by one of the most powerful personages of the court of William II (1166-1189), Archbishop Walter Ophamil.

Dimensions of the object
3.7 x 3.2 (diameters)

Palermo, Tabularium of
Palatine Chapel n.18



Manuscript in parchment of  sec. XIII


 Sculptored and lapidei elements


Holy water font

12th century

  Holy water font in mosaic and carved marble, pertaining to the Palatine Chapel of the Palace of the Normans in Palermo.

Dimensions of the object
Diameter of the basin: 44 cm ; diameter of the basement, of the column 32 cm ; total height 84 cm



Holy Water font

13th century

    Shell shaped marble Holy Water font, with an embossed frame representing a soldier with a falcon. This figure could let us address the piece to the Swabian age. However, the habit to self-carry a falcon was very popular in the 12th century too.