Complete Reliquary Cross with Christ or Incised Saint
Circa 9th-11th Century AD
Description: Complete bronze reliquary cross (enkolpion) depicting, on obverse, a single standing figure with outstretched arms. The figure is drawn in a schematic style and probably represents crucified Christ or a saint in prayer. On the reverse, a large cross is incised with punched dots punctuating each of the extremities and the center. A large piece of the original bronze attachment at the top remains. Attractive green patina.
Diameter: 3.8 in. (10 cm)
Condition: Complete and intact as shown; no pin in lower hinge.
Reference: See Pitarakis, Les Croix-Reliquares Pectorales Byzantines en Bronze, #508 for an uninscribed example with similar figure, and #620 for a variant of the etched cross reverse.
Provenance: Formerly in the collection of the Boston scholar Carroll Wales, collected 1952-1970.
Price: $ 1,200
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