Rare Antique C.17-18th Century Ornate "old Believers" Orthodox "sun" Cross
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Rare Antique C.17-18th Century Ornate "old Believers" Orthodox "sun" Cross:
Authentic antique medium-sized Orthodox Cross featuring ornate "Old Believers" design with the center of the cross surrounded by ornamental openwork circle similar to a "Solar", or a "Sun" cross, image of the three-bar cross flanked with the Instruments of the Passion over the skull (Adam's head), and "lozenge" motif on the reverse. The Cross appears to be handmade from bronze or similar copper metal alloy. Origin likely c. 17th - 18th century Tsardom of Russia. The Cross has visible signs of aging and wear such as small deformations, scratches, dents, and is covered with original uncleaned semi-glossy dark brown patina from the past centuries. The inside of the solid necklace bale shows signs of wear consistent with long continuous wearing. The size of the Cross is shown on the photographs.
The obverse bears an image of theByzantine-like Suppedaneum cross. The Byzantine three-bar cross is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox and some Eastern Catholic churches. Such a cross has three horizontal crossbeams: the top one represents the "INRI" nameplate, and the bottom one, a footrest.The footrest crossbeam is depicted pointing up, toward Heaven, on Christ's right hand side where the Penitent thief, St. Dismas was crucified.
The top end of the vertical crossbarbears atwo-letter abbreviated inscription in Church Slavonic meaning"KING OF GLORY" incorporated into a round-shaped Solar-like symbol. The side ends of the central horizontal crossbar bear similar round shapes with the Sacred Name of Jesus Christ inscribed as the Greek Christogram, as the "IC" on the left, and the "XC" on the right.
Parallel to the vertical crossbar, there are images of the two Instruments of the Passion (Arms of Christ, Arma Christi), the Holy Lance (spear) of a Roman soldier, and the Holy Sponge attached to the end of a cane. They are subjects to adoration along with the Cross, and are often depicted on the Byzantine-style "Golgotha" crosses worn as body crosses for the entire life of a faithful Christian.
A symbolic image of the skull, or Adam's head buried below the image of the three-bar cross refers to Golgotha (Calvary), the elevated site where Jesus was crucified, which the Bible says means "the place of the skull" in Hebrew.An ancient tradition of Catholic and Orthodox Churches held that it was also the burial place of Adam, thus symbolizing the ultimate victory of Christ over sin and death.
The reverse is filled with a complex geometric ornament including multiple rhomboid shapes, or "lozenges" filled with lines, likely representing the "Sown Field" symbols. The lozenge ornaments appear as early as the Neolithic and Paleolithic period in Eastern Europe, and symbolize a sown field and female fertility. The ancient lozenge pattern often shows up in Diamond vault architecture, in traditional dress patterns of Slavic peoples, and in traditional Ukrainian embroidery. The lozenge pattern also appears extensively in Celtic art.Please examine all photographs carefully and do your own research if necessary. Please note that photographs are an important part of the item's description. The U.S. quarter coin, decorative stone and measuring meter are not for sale, and are photographed with the item in order to provide a size reference.Please ask all questions before making a purchase.There are no guarantees with the listing because most items are original vintage or antique objects that are quite old. All items are sold "as is" with no returns because of a change of mind offered. Shipping and handling is free for the continental US. International buyers, please ask me for a shipping quote prior to buying.Please note that customs regulations differ from country to country, and it is a buyer's responsibility to ensure that any customs fees or other duties collected by the buyer's country are paid and satisfied in full.