The image of the Man of Sorrows is a distillation of the events of Christ's Passion. Christ contemplates with sorrow the instruments of his suffering: the cross and hammer, whips, nails, column of the Flagellation, and the dice thrown by the soldiers for his garments. The gabled container held by an angel once housed a thorn believed to be from Christ's Crown of Thorns, while the hinged cross and column probably held pieces of wood believed to be from Christ's cross and from the column against which he was whipped. According to an inscription on the base, the reliquary was ordered by the bishop of Olomouc in Moravia to house the Holy Thorn. It was surely a present for Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. Both men's coats of arms (those of Moravia and Bohemia) are on the base, and the thorn was already in the emperor's famous collection of relics, as a gift from the king of France. As Charles reigned over both Bohemia and Moravia only from 1347 to 1349, the piece dates to this time. The sophisticated workmanship is characteristic of objects created for the imperial court in Prague.