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Published Large Byzantine Copper-Iron & Bronze Cross

Ancient Near East / Holy Land, Byzantine Empire, ca. 12th to 14th century CE. An exquisite cast copper-iron processional cross composed of two flared sections pinned together in the center with a cast-bronze medallion. The lateral arms have pointed finials on their upper corners, and on top is an intricate bronze crucifix finial flanked by palmettes. From each arm hangs a pair of suspended rock crystal beads, and a large tang projects from beneath the vertical arm. The circular bronze medallion is ringed with faint silvering and displays an image of the Virgin Mary and the infant Christ. A pointille Greek inscription on the obverse side reads, "SOFRONIYO," possibly an inexact genitive name form of "Sofronios," perhaps the individual responsible for dedicating the cross. Another inscription on the horizontal arms, though faded on the left arm, reads, "…IA KONYA," perhaps a reference to the modern city of the same name. Custom museum-quality display stand included. Size: 12.7" W x 26.875" H (32.3 cm x 68.3 cm); 27.625" H (70.2 cm) on included custom stand.

The Byzantine Empire was established in the 4th century CE when the Emperor Constantine, also known as Saint Constantine, Christianized the Roman Empire and pronounced the city of Constantinople in Byzantium as the capital. The visual culture of this era demonstrates a synthesis of classical Greek, Roman, and Christian influences.

Published in "Venerable Traditions: Works of Art from the Ancient World." Fortuna Fine Arts, Ltd., New York, 2007.

Condition: Repair to finial on left arm with some small losses along break line. Slight bending to overall form, wear to silvering on central medallion, fading to pointille inscriptions, minor nicks to bottom tang, lateral arms, vertical bar, and finials, and heavy pitting across most surfaces. Light earthen deposits and great oxidized patina throughout. Old inventory label on base of stand.

Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Janet Zakos collection, Switzerland, acquired in the 1980s

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

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