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Rare Byzantine Bronze Roundel w/ Jesus

Byzantine Empire, ca. 8th to 12th century CE. A cast bronze roundel (orbiculi) portrait of the head and shoulders of Jesus Christ in low relief and surrounded by a border of raised circles. Behind his head is a halo with a cross. It seems likely that the piece once had enamel or other inlaid details; the undecorated obverse shows evidence of having once been gilded. Comes with custom stand. Size: 1.4" W (3.6 cm); height on stand: 2.3" (5.8 cm).

A roundel like this one may have served as a decorative addition to a tunic or cloak - late Roman clothing was often highly decorated with embroidered strips (clavi) and orbiculi - or may have been added to a saddle. Imagine it highly polished, perhaps with colorful details, adorning the dress of a bishop or other church official, flashing brightly in the sun!

Condition: Piece seems to have an ancient loss to its top, like it once had a loop for suspension. Dark patina overall. Small traces of gilt on the undecorated face.

Provenance: Ex-Private East Coast, USA Collection

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