Ca. AD 500-800
A Byzantine cast bronze processional cross originating from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Middle East. The form of the cross follows that of the Latin cross, with each arm gradually widening towards the end and culminating in rounded projections. At the intersection of the arms lies a roundel embellished with an inset purple glass disc. Radiating repousse decoration adorns the cross, including rays or arms terminating with three circular elements and beaded outer borders. Decoration also includes incised stylised wings on the reverse and a finely incised rosette on the reverse center. A small, embellished keyhole is hewn into the top of the shaft. For a similar example, see Christie's Live Auction 9172, Antiquities, 4th June 1999, Lot 125.
This type of cross was widely used in various ritualistic, military, and imperial processions during the Middle Byzantine era, reflecting the dominant role that religion played in Byzantine society. Its ornate design and striking beauty made it a fitting symbol of the power and majesty of the Empire.
Provenance: From a New York private collection; formerly with Fortuna Fine Arts, NYC.
BYZANTINE BRONZE PROCESSIONAL CROSS
L: 500mm / W: 265mm ; 2.04kg