BYZANTINE RELIQUARY CROSS WITH MARY

£750.00

Measurements: 7.7 cm − height, 3.5 cm − width

 

Description: A bronze Byzantine reliquary enkolpion cross, made to be worn on the bosom, made up of two separate crosses held together by a hinge at the bottom, which allowed the cross to be opened to expose the relic, and a suspension loop at the top, which allowed the cross to be worn around the neck. The two outer sides are decorated with scenes in relief. On one side is the Virgin Orans, wearing a tunic and a maphorion, surrounded by three portraits of unidentified saints. There is a cross above Mary's head. The Crucifixion appears on the other side. Christ is shown standing against the cross rather than suspended from it. He wears a collobium and a low-hanging encolpion cross around his neck, his feet are supported by a suppedaneum, a large footrest.

 

These reliquary crosses were produced in the urban centres of the empire, as they repeat the same compositions and iconographic types. The large number of surviving examples excludes the possibility that these crosses were used solely to contain fragments of the True Cross or other types of primary relics, such as the physical remains of saints. It is much more likely that the crosses contained secondary relics, such as earth or pieces of silk that had been made holy through contact with the body of a saint.

 

Provenance: Ex. important collection of Christian items from a City gentleman, formed in 1970's - 1990's.

 

Reference: Evans, H. C., Wixom, W. D., The Glory of Byzantium. Art and Culture of the Middle Byzantine Era. A.D. 843-1261, 1997, p. 169.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The British Museum

Museum of Fine Arts Boston

 

Period: 9th - 12th century AD

 

Condition: Very fine, intact, with patination over the whole.

About us | Antiquities | Contact us

St James’s Ancient Art

Ground Floor

10 Charles II Street

St James

London SW1Y 4AA

 

Tel : +447833231322

(primary contact number)

         +44 2083644565

Email: enquiry@ancient-art.co.uk

 

G E T   S O C I A L   W I T H   US

 /></a> </body> </html>

Subscribe to our mailing list:

* indicates required field
MasterCard Visa American Express PayPal
MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Paypal

For other payments please contact us: 07833231322 or 02083644565

Website counter
Print Print | Sitemap
© Ancient Art 2007-2017 | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy