BYZANTINE GOLD CROSS, Circa 700-1000 AD
A museum quality Early Christian cross crafted of nearly pure gold in an unusual design. Rare!
A very attractive gold pectoral cross, constructed of high carat gold with cylindrical arms and a suspension loop on the upper bar so the cross could be suspended from a chain. The central shaft is hollow to accept a holy relic. The central intersection is wrapped with fine wire and the ends of the arms are truncated at an angle. A comparable center treatment is shown on an 8th Century cross (Kat I.6.12) in the German Exhibition catalog “Kreuz & Kruzifix”.
Provenance: From the British collection of Ian Roper. Mr. Roper is a noted Byzantine collector – his collection of Byzantine coins formed the nucleus of the landmark 1974 first edition of “Byzantine Coins & Their Values” by David Sear.
Byzantine lives were centered on an ordered Christian hierarchy offering salvation through Christ. By the 5th and 6th centuries, the cross replaced the Chi-Rho as the standard emblem of religious devotion. Its meaning transcended that of the simple monogram to visually recall the crucifixion. The cross was worn by individuals from every social stratum, from the elaborate bejeweled golden cross of the patriarch to the simple crosses of the common man.
(47 x 25 mm – 1 7/8” Tall – Weight: 3.68 gm)