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19th C. Russian Enameled Brass Three-Bar Cross

Eastern Europe, Russia, ca. 19th century CE. A fine cast-brass, three-bar crucifix replete with ornate depictions of classic Orthodox Christian iconography. Central to the cross is the crucified Christ standing upon a slanted footrest, his monogram IC XC displays on either lateral end of the widest bar, with two downward-facing cherubs and a depiction of God the Father above him. The short topmost bar represents the sign reading "This is the King of the Jews" from Luke 23:38 that was nailed to the top of Christ's cross. Dark, navy blue enamel inlays create the background and make the foreground stand out. Size: 6.125" L x 3.75" W (15.6 cm x 9.5 cm).

An image of Adam's skull in the cave rests at the bottom of the cross, and the monogram MAPE (the place of the cross has become Paradise) rests below his feet. This imagery is to remind us that Adam lost Paradise through forbidden knowledge, and that Christ will return us to it during the End of Days. On the back is a common prayer: "As You were voluntarily raised upon the cross for our sake, Grant mercy to those who are called by Your Name, O Christ God; Gladden all Orthodox Christians by Your power, Granting them victories over their adversaries, By bestowing on them the Invincible trophy, Your weapon of Peace."

Condition: Minor nicks and abrasions to arms, base, and relief details, with losses and chipping to enameled decorations, slight bending to overall form, and fading to some finer details, otherwise intact and very good. Light earthen deposits and nice patina throughout.

Provenance: private Orange County, California, USA collection

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