19th century, Russian icon of Sign Mother of God in brass oklad. Oil on wood.
This icon depicts half-length Mother of God with her arms out to the sides, and with the child Christ in a circle, holding a scroll in his left hand, blessing with his right.
This type of icon is derived from a prototype which was a marble relief in the Photinos Chapel of the Church of the Blachernae in Constantinople. In Russia the type became greatly venerated after its use by the City of Novgorod against the invading army of Andrey Bogolybskiy in 1170. Archbishop joh of Novgorod heard a voice telling him to take the "Sign" icon from the church to the city walls. Once there, the icon was struck by a Suzdal arrow. Miraculously, the image began to shed tears, and turned its face toward the city as a visible "sign" that the Mother of God was interceding on its behalf. The invasion was repelled. - "the Icon Handbook" by D. Coomler, 1995.