AND RARE CHRISTIAN ROMAN BYZANTINE RELIQUARY BRONZE CROSS PENDANT WITH CHRIST
- 11th Century A.D.
rare and stunning bronze cross features a heavy relief image of a risen
Christ with raised arms and a cross above His head. The piece is
half of a reliquary cross. The
of the Byzantine Roman world were
wearable crosses made in two parts and assembled with hinges that allowed
them to open lengthwise like a clamshell. They were often used to
hold a piece of a saint's bone or hair and their power to heal and protect
by the possession of the 'relic' inside was believed by all.
Complete and intact specimens with both halves still attached are
extremely rare. Complete halves with nice detail are also prized by
collectors and fanciers of antiquities, especially when the piece is still
wearable as this superb example is. The entire bronze surface possesses a rich
light and dark green patina so highly prized by ancient art dealers and vital to
authenticating that this piece is truly ancient in age. Art style is
classic and typical for this time period. We have added a large
modern 14 karat gold attachment to the intact and original hole at the top
allowing this remarkable piece to be safely worn today on a chain.
Bail is large enough to accommodate a man's or woman's chain and this
stunning artifact of early Christendom could easily be worn by either a
man or woman. Entire piece is solid and wearable with no worries.
Overall size is large and makes for a highly visually impressive
display! This is definitely one of the nicest pieces of a small lot we brought back
from our Fall 2004 collecting trip! HIGHLY
Fakes of these bronze crosses have saturated the collectible market.
Ebay is definitely the worst assemblage of them but I have seen numerous
on websites being pawned off as real. Crooked and/or ignorant
dealers are selling copies for pennies to the dollar compared to authentic
examples like this one but some are asking the same price as the genuine
artifacts! If the price seems too good to be true, then it is.
Even the people digging these out of the ground in the most remote regions
know the value of a genuine example. Beware of copies that have what
appear to be signs of authenticity right down to the faking of the color
and oxidized patina!!!
Period which lasted
from the 5th century AD to the fall of Constantinople in the 15th century, the Roman Empire and Christianity were completely
interwoven. It was the quintessential example of the UNION of church and
state. The classic
architecture, style of dress, and overall appearance of all that was "Roman" took on a new and intricate style that the world has never seen
before or has ever since been repeated. Roman Byzantine culture was an
eclectic and yet, harmonious religious blend of the It is during the Byzantine Period that we have the
first major introduction of CHRISTIAN JEWELRY to the world!
cross came to symbolize the basic Christian concepts: Incarnation,
Atonement and the Resurrection. It was believed the crosses
possessed hidden healing strength and guaranteed salvation of the
soul! Many objects in antiquity, both everyday items as well as
those for holy rituals, abounded in Christian imagery. Some examples
of this imagery that were used with Christian significance besides the
cross were the Chi-Ro symbol, the fish, angels, a starburst and
abbreviated inscriptions in Greek (the language used for religious
writings and coinage) which translated to "In Christ, Victory"
or "Jesus Christ, King of Kings".
Christian jewelry of the ancient world always reflected the humility that
Christ preached. Stunning bejeweled adornments were left to the high
priests only while performing rituals. The Christian jewelry worn by
all believers in antiquity was that of very crude and simplistic design,
only very rarely in precious metal. The crosses of the Byzantine
Period were predominantly bronze and sometimes lead. The art style
was highly stylized, typical for the Byzantine culture. Depictions
of Christ and Mary most often appear quite cartoon-like in the imagery on
the Christian jewelry and coinage. Since many of the Byzantine
coins had religious
inscriptions and images of Jesus and occasionally Mary, coins are
sometimes found with holes punched through them having been used as a
pendant in ancient times by an early believer.
In the later Medieval Era and
Dark Ages, Christian jewelry maintained this humility in both overall
design and manufacture with an increase in the use of silver but a
continuance in the use of bronze, copper and lead. Imagery became
more refined and detailed. Pilgrim badges were often worn by
believers in these times if they had the grand opportunity to visit the
Holy city of Jerusalem.
excellent (and wearable!) genuine antiquity from the earliest period of
mm in height
WITH A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY / HISTORY SHEET
shown with optional CHAIN
A, not included