Near East, Turkey, Byzantine, 6th to 8th century CE. This piece truly takes my breath away! A circular hanging bronze lamp or polycandelon created during the Byzantine era. Oil filled glass vessels once hung from twelve round openings, six set on the interior circular channel and six in the exterior channel of the design. Just imagine the beautiful shadows cast upon ancient walls and floors, replicating and actually magnifying the designs created by those disks! According to the curatorial department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, such enormous lamps may have been used to light the wondrous church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople described by the poet and courtier Paul the Silentiary in 563 CE, "Thus is everything clothed in beauty . . . No words are sufficient to describe the illumination in the evening; you might say that some nocturnal sun filled the majestic church with light." All I can say is wow! Just try to envision how candelight would have added to the immense brilliance of this church's historical mosaics depicting the Virgin Mary, Jesus, saints, the Emperor Justinian and his Empress Theodora! A beautiful and large example with stunning light green patina! Size: 18" in diameter x 34"L.
Condition: Intact and near choice. Brilliant patina!
Provenance: Ex-private New Jersey collection acquired prior to 1980.
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