Rare Antique C.18th Cent. Large Copper-iron "old Believers" Orthodox "sun" Cross
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Rare Antique C.18th Cent. Large Copper-iron "old Believers" Orthodox "sun" Cross:
Authentic antique large (over 2" long with bale) 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 words of the Orthodox prayer based on Psalm 68 of David the King in Church Slavonic inscribed on the reverse. The Cross appears to be handmade from a metal alloy likely containing copper and some iron giving it magnetic properties (please see the picture with a magnetic stick). Origin likely c. late 18th - early 19th century Imperial 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 crossbarincorporates atwo-word abbreviated inscription in Church Slavonic meaning"KING OF GLORY" used in the Eastern Orthodox pectoral crosses as a nameplate in their top parts.The Kingship of Jesus is also symbolized by the shape of the necklace loop resembling the shape of a Byzantine-style crown.
The side ends of the central horizontal crossbar bear the Sacred Name of Jesus Christ inscribed as the Greek Christogram, as the "IC" on the left, and the "XC" on the right.Just below the Christogram, there is a two-word abbreviated inscription in Church Slavonic meaning "SON OF GOD".The bottom end hastheGreek "NIKA" ("VICTORIOUS") symbol inscribed with Cyrillic letters, an ancient symbol of Christ's victory achieved on the Cross.
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 baptismal, 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.
There are four additional, diagonal crossbeams, shaped as "fleur de lis", or "krinos" (lily flowers), or "droplets", superimposed on the circle surrounding the center of the cross.The ornamental, openwork circle makes it similar to a Celtic-style "Solar", or "Sun Cross".The diagonal crossbeams usually symbolize to the cross of Saint Andrew the Apostle. Alternatively, they might depict the rays of light coming from the glorious Holy Cross of the Savior. St. Andrew is considered the Founder and the first Bishop of the Christian Church of Byzantium, and is the patron saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Saint Andrew is believed to have been crucified on the Crux decussata (X-shaped cross,also known as "Saltire").
The reverse of the cross bears text of a prayer appearing as an abbreviated version of Psalm 68 in Church Slavonic meaning"MAY GOD ARISE AND MAY HIS ENEMIES BE SCATTERED...". This psalm-based prayer is traditionally inscribed on the reverse of the Old Believers' Orthodox body (Baptism) cross pendants, meaning to provide protection of the faithful cross-bearer against the evil spirits (God's enemies), and thereby is considered a version of the Exorcism prayer.
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.