Near East, Holy Land, Byzantine Empire, ca. 10th to 11th century CE. A lovely cast-bronze reliquary cross known as an "enkolpion," consisting of two crosses that fit together, a lower clasp, and an upper joint with a pierced suspension bale on top. The obverse face displays a large central Virgin Mary flanked by a pair of smaller figures on the arms, the larger figure with the monogram for "Mother of God" above. The reverse side displays Jesus Christ with outspread arms and a tilted head surrounded by a radiating corona. Fine green and brown patina envelops the entire composition, and the original golden-brown bronze color are visible in scattered areas. Size: 1.9" W x 3.75" H (4.8 cm x 9.5 cm); 4.5" H (11.4 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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