Byzantine Bronze Enkolpion Reliquary Cross

GBP 1,950.00

Contact Dealer To Purchase

Object Description

A complete Byzantine bronze reliquary cross, known as enkolpion, featuring a hinged base and a barrel-shaped suspension loop at the top. The cross is formed of two halves, decorated with images typical of Christian iconography. On one side, the piece depicts a crucified Christ between the small figures of the Virgin and St. John; his arms are outstretched upon the cross and a halo shines around his drooping head. He wears a collobium (a sleeveless or short-sleeved garment) with two clavi (bands), an iconographic type established in the early Christian centuries. An inscription is carved beneath each outstretched arm. Written in abbreviated Greek, it reads: ΙΔΕΟΥCCΟΥ, ΙΔOΥCΜΗΡCΟΥ (IDEOUSSOU, IDOUSMETERSOU), translating to “Behold your son, Behold your mother”. Above his head, a tablet with a central X-design has been executed in low relief, together with a sun disc and a crescent moon. The reverse side depicts a stylised portrait of the Virgin Mary in the orant prayer pose. She is surrounded by the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, identified by their initials carved in Greek next to their roundels.

Please note that the stand is for reference only.

Date: Circa 9th – 10th Century AD

Object Condition

Excellent condition. A minor chip to the suspension loop which is now blocked and does not move.

Object Details

  • material
  • dimensions
    W:5.5 x H:10.8 centimeters

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)208 364 4565
+44 (0)7833231322

Dealer Location

The Gallery
Trent Park Equestrian Centre
Eastpole Farm House, Bramley Road
Oakwood, N14 4UW, United Kingdom

St James's Ancient Art
10 Charles II Street, Ground Floor
St James

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