Byzantine Bronze Cross Plaque


A Byzantine bronze plaque in the shape of a cross, featuring incised decorations to both sides. Carved on the obverse is the standing image of a robed figure, likely a Saint or Apostle, with his arms lifted up in the Orans position and with a halo around his head, sided by two geometric motifs. The reverse of the cross displays a central lozenge-shaped medallion with a hatched border. Inside the frame is a niobate human bust in prayer with his palms facing outwards in front of his chest. The arms of the cross are incised with the pattern of palm fronds, each ending in a thin hatched band.

Date: Circa 10th - 12th century AD
Condition: Fine condition with signs of ageing to the surface.

In stock

Christian religion was very much at the heart of Byzantine culture, politically, socially and artistically. It was an empire run as a theocracy, ruled by God working through the Emperor, and political ideals were largely informed by Christian values. This permeated visual culture as well, not only in terms of art that was explicitly religious in its purpose. With Christian religion becoming the primary religion across the Byzantine Empire, Christian iconography became an extremely popular decorative motif displayed on many smaller decorative items and wares.

A cross of this sort, could have been worn as a pectoral cross, and was an attribute of bishops during the Middle Ages. The cross was the most popular Christian symbol in Byzantium: it offered protection to the wearer and would have been available all over the Empire, while depiction of saints, angels and the Virgin appeared around the 6th century AD.

Weight 60.2 g
Dimensions L 10.3 x W 6.5 cm



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