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Ancient Byzantine Bronze Reliquary Cross 800- 1000AD XF

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Holy Land: Sculpture: Pre AD 1000: Item # 368034

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Ancient Byzantine Bronze Reliquary Cross 800- 1000AD XF
Byzantine Empire, 800 - 100AD. Bronze Reliquary Cross. Superb Bronze Reliquary Cross hinged at the top and bottom, the two halves forming a space for a religious relic. The obverse depicts Jesus in the "Christ the Redeemer" position with outstretched hands to sides. The reverse depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the Prayer Position (orans) praying for the "Grace of God". Created with two identical halves that were hinged together leaving the center hollow for placing a religious relic. A reliquary was a receptacle for keeping or displaying sacred relics. In Christian usage, relics were objects connected with, or remains of, the bodies of saints or what was purported to be the True Cross. Christians are known to have venerated the relics of martyrs at least as early as the 2nd century. The Crusades led to the influx of relics from the Middle-East and they became popular items of adornment used for protection of crusaders and the wealthy who could afford them. This is a superb example of a very rare size and type. 52mm x 24mm Intact and hinged, in extremely fine condition. Please note this cross appears to have been sealed since antiquity the interior may still contain a relic, there is no visible evidence that this item has been opened.

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