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Ancient Art XLiV Mary, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Initials Inscribed in Greek Circa 9th-11th Century AD Museum Quality Ancient Art

Ancient Art XLIV

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Page 1: Ancient Art XLIV

Ancient Art XLiV

Mary, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Initials Inscribed in Greek Circa 9th-11th Century AD

Museum Quality Ancient Ar t

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Page 2: Ancient Art XLIV

Fragments of time, inc. John Ambrose, DirectorP.O. Box 376 Medfield, MA 02052 USA

Phone: (508) 359-0090 Fax: (508) 359-0090 email: [email protected]

Visit us on the Web:

Authenticity Every item in this catalogueis backed by our lifetimeguarantee of authenticity.

Museum Policy We offer special purchasingprivileges for registeredmuseums. Please inquire.

Visiting Fragments of time Please visit when you are inthe Boston area. Our privategallery, just 30 minutes fromBoston, is conveniently locat-ed 6 miles off of Interstate95, exit 16B. Appointmentsmay be scheduled sevendays a week.

reference Library A solid reference library isessential as you build yourcollection. Our Book List fea-tures an ever-changing selec-tion of many out-of-print anddifficult to find books. Weare happy to assist with anybook search. Please visit ourwebsite at for our booklist.

SubscriptionsAnnual catalogue subscrip-tions are available at $15(US/Canada); $18 (Europe)and $20 (Rest of World).Single copy price: $5.00 US.The purchase of any itemfrom this catalogue qualifiesfor a complimentary one yearsubscription.

Many collectors of antiquities focus on one or more of the “big

three” cultures -- Egyptian, Greek and Roman. Until recently,

art from the late Roman, Coptic and Byzantine periods was

sometimes relegated to second class status.

With a blossoming of scholarship and important museum exhi-

bitions over the past two decades -- including Art of Late

Rome and Byzantine at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in

1994, the seminal Glory of Byzantium at the Metropolitan

Museum in New York in 1997, and Harvard and Yale’s

Byzantine Women and Their World in 2003 -- objects from

these periods, have enjoyed renewed popularity and intense

collecting interest. And with good reason. Byzantium was a

cultural crossroads. It is where the classical age converged

with the Enlightenment of Western Europe. It was the bridge

between eastern culture and classicism. And it was the cradle

of modern European civilization.

All objects in this catalog come from a single scholarly collec-

tion (see catalog preface for information on the Carroll Wales

Collection). A vast majority bear symbols of early Christianity,

the most dominant symbol, of course, is the sign of the cross.

The cross was not widely depicted until the 4th century AD,

when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman

Empire. From this time forward, however, the cross becomes a

unifying feature of Christian art, whether in its Eastern

Orthodox or Roman Latin form.

A note on Our revised Format

We thank you all for your continued compliments on our cata-

logs. Several clients have suggested that we separate the

prices of the objects from the catalog itself so they can include

the catalog when they purchase objects as gifts for spouses or

friends. So with this catalog we have created a supplemental

price list. Rest assured that our fixed price policy has not

changed. Every object is competitively priced to eliminate the

need for haggling or bidding. As always, we do encourage you

to call or email us as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

John Ambrose

Director & Founder

Early Christian Art

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Page 3: Ancient Art XLIV

MALCOVE: Ed. Shelia Campbell, TheMalcove Collection (University ofToronto 1985)

PITARAKIS: Brigitte Pitarakis, LesCroix-Reliquares PectoralesByzantines en Bronze (Picard 2006)

PRINCETON: Ed. Slobodan Curcicand Archer St. Clair, Byzantium atPrinceton (Princeton 1986)

SEPPHORIS: Edited by RebeccaMartin Nagy et. al., Sepphoris inGalilee: Crosscurrents of Culture(North Carolina Art Museum 1996)

TEMPLE: Ed by Richard Temple,Early Christian & Byzantine Art(London 1990)

VMFA: Anna Gonosova andChristine Kondoleon, Art of LateRome and Byzantium (VA Museumof Fine Arts 1994)

WALTERS: Exhibition held at theWalters Art Gallery, Early Christianand Byzantine Art (Baltimore 1947)

WEITZMANN: Ed. Kurt Weitzmann,Age of Spirituality: Late Antique andEarly Christian Art, Third to SeventhCentury (NY 1979)

ANTIOCH: Christine Kondoleon,Antioch: The Lost Ancient City(Princeton 2000)

BAILEY IV: D.M. Bailey, A Catalogueof the Lamps in the British Museum,Vol. IV. Lamps of Metal and Stone,and Lampstands (1996)

EMPORIO: Michael Ballance, JohnBoardman, et. al., Excavations inChios 1952-1955 (British School ofArchaeology at Athens 1989)

GALAVARIS: George Galavaris,Bread and the Liturgy: TheSymbolism of Early Christian andByzantine Bread Stamps (Universityof Wisconsin Press 1970)

GLORY: Ed by Helen Evans andWilliam Wixom, The Glory ofByzantium: Art and Culture of theMiddle Byzantine Era A.D. 843-1261(NY 1997)

JEWELLERY STUDIES: Jack Ogden,Classical Gold Jewellery and TheClassical Tradition, Vol 5 (Society ofJewellery Historians 1991)

KALAVREZOU: Ioli Kalavrezou,Byzantine Women and their World(Harvard University Press 2003)

KUNST AUS ROM: FruhchristlicheKunst Aus Rom (Essen 1962)

MAGUIRE: Eunice DautermanMaguire et. al., Art and Holy Powersin the Early Christian House (Illinois1989)


Ordering Instructions

All items contained in this catalogare unique and availability is sub-ject to prior sale. Please call toreserve items as soon as possibleto avoid disappointment.

Items may be reserved for up tofive business days.

Prices are listed in US dollars.Payment may be made by person-al check or international moneyorder in US dollars. Items are dis-patched immediately upon notifi-cation of cleared checks.

Wire transfers are accepted - callfor details.

Fragments of Time also acceptVisa, Mastercard, Discover,American Express and PayPal.

Massachusetts residents pleaseadd 5% sales tax.

Pricing is exclusive of postage,packing and insurance which willbe charged at cost.

Returns for any reason allowedwithin 10 days if returned in “asreceived” condition.

We offer a “full-value” trade uppolicy. Apply the original price ofan item purchased from us towardany higher priced item providedthe traded item is in “as received”condition.

Fragments of Time, Inc. reservesphotographic re-publishing rightsfor all items in this catalogue.

Publication Date: Winter 2008

Fragments of Time, Inc. accepts:We wish to gratefully acknowledge Dr. Annewies van den

Hoek, of the Harvard Divinity School, for her generous assis-

tance with many of the translations. Needless to say, any

inconsistencies or errors are entirely our own.

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Important Single Collection of Early Christian Objects

It is with great pleasure that we present to you this special catalog of early

Christian objects dating from the late Roman to Middle Byzantine periods.

All of the objects herein were collected over two decades from 1952 to

1970 by Carroll F. Wales (1918-2007), a distinguished Harvard-educated

scholar and conservator. We were fortunate to acquire the Wales collection

of antiquities in its entirety directly from the estate, and are pleased to certi-

fy this important provenance with every object herein.

Wales traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and North Africa. He spent the

1950s restoring Byzantine frescoes in istanbul under grants from the Dumbarton Oaks

Museum, and is also known for his restoration of the famous Roman mosaic panel from

Antioch (photo above) at the Worcester (MA) Art Museum. He enjoyed an enduring

friendship with archaeologist Max Mallowan and his wife, Agatha Christie, and conserved

ivories for Mallowan during excavations at Nimrud, Iraq.

While his collection spanned an 800-year timeframe and includes sculpture, pottery,

bronzes, fine oil lamps, and jewelry, the heart of the Wales collection is a fine concentra-

tion of objects from the dawn of Christianity. Chief among these is a remarkable collection

of bronze enkolpia engraved with a rich variation of saints, angels, Apostles, Mary, and

Jesus Christ himself.

The enkolpion was a popular type of devotional object worn often as a pendant reliquary,

and hence also known as a “reliquary cross.” It consisted of two separate leaves, each

cast with raised or inscribed figural decoration on the outside and a hollowed surface on

its interior side. The leaves are joined by two sets of hinges, a small one at the bottom and

a larger one at the top, usually attached to the loop of a suspension bead. The hollowed

out inside portion of the cross was said to contain an actual sacred relic.

For iconoduls (worshipers of religious images), the wearing of these crosses was an expres-

sion of their orthodox Christian faith, as well as adherence to a religious practice which

called for the representation of holy figures on objects. This practice was vehemently

opposed by the iconoclasts (smashers of religious images). It has been convincingly

argued that the iconoduls were responsible for the widespread use of such pendant reli-

quary crosses following their first victory in 787 AD over their iconoclastic opponents.

Many of the enkolpia in this catalog are inscribed in Greek. As was the Byzantine prac-

tice, such inscriptions include many variations due to carefulness of the engraver, space

available, and region where the cross originated. The study of enkolpia has been

enhanced immeasurably by Brigette Pitarakis’ seminal 2006 work entitled Les Croix-

Reliquaires Pectorales in which she published more than 650 superb 9th-11th Century AD

examples, the vast majority coming from Constantinople or anatolia. Many of the exam-

ples from the Wales collection have close parallels in the Pitarakis raisonne and are so ref-

erenced. We invite you to enjoy this wonderful collection.

Carroll F. Wales

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Circa 8th-11th Century AD

Length: 4.15 in. (10.5 cm)

Width: 3.4 in (8.6 cm)

Condition: Intact as shown. In

the center, remains of a tinned

solder which presumably once

held a central jewel in place.

Reference: See PITARAKIS, Figure

#87, for a related example.



ὁ ἅγηος Γεóργηος = ὁ ἅγιος


Saint George

ΟΑΓ / ΗΟC / ΗΟ / Α / ΝΗ / C

ὁ ἅγηος Ἠοάνης = ὁ ἅγιος


Saint John


ὁ ἅγηος Στέφανος = ὁ ἅγιος


Saint Stephen

ΟΑΓΗΟCΝ / ΗΚ / Ο / Λ / Α / Ο / C

ὁ ἅγηος Νηκóλαος = ὁ ἅγιος


Saint Nicholas


Important bronze processional cross decorated on each

arm with haloed saint inscribed with name: St. George

(top) with elaborate robes enlivened with three small

crosses arranged vertically; St John (left) flanked by cross

and inscription; St. Nicholas (bottom) in elaborate robes

with crosses and holding his hands to his chest, and St.

Stephen (right) flanked by inscription and a small cross and

incised representation of stones. This depiction of Stephen

with three stones is especially interesting. He is described

in Acts 6:11 as convicted in 34 AD by the Sanhedrin for

blasphemy against Moses and God then stoned by a mob

that included Saul of Tarsus (later St. Paul), thus becoming

the first Christian martyr. Two small original attachment

holes on the bottom arm. Reverse is flat and undecorated.

1Large cross with Four Saints

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Byzantine christ, Virgin and Stephen2

Circa 9th-11th Century AD

Length: 3.25 in. (8.3 cm)

Condition: Unhinged top and

bottom but most likely a matching

set. Smooth olive patina on front,

obverse side toned. Fore-edge of

one arm chipped.




Παναγήα = Παναγία

Panaghia (meaning “All-Holy,” the

title of the virgin Mary)

ΗC XC = Ἰ(ησοῦ)ς Χ(ριστό)ς

Jesus Christ



ὁ ἅγηος Στέφανος = ὁ ἅγιος


Saint Stephen

Reference: See PITARAKIS, #279

for a related example of the

obverse in the Walters Museum.

Complete bronze

reliquary cross

(enkolpion) decorat-

ed on the obverse

with two central fig-

ures representing

the Panaghia, or All

Holy Virgin Mary

with her son Jesus

Christ. This repre-

sentation symbol-

izes Mary with

Christ in the womb

at the moment of

the incarnation.

Mary’s arms are in

the orans position,

i.e. arms outspread

in prayer, a custom

of praying in antiq-

uity that survives in

Christianity to this

day. Incised crosses

decorate the space

at each of Mary’s

arms. The Christ

child is shown

wearing a mantle

decorated with ver-

tical and horizontal


On the reverse, St

Stephen is shown

with arms outspread

and wears a spec-

tacularly decorated

robe. By his hand, a

symbol of the cross

on a mound of

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Complete bronze

reliquary cross

(enkolpion) depict-

ing an elaborately

robed figure with

arms outstretched

in prayer with the

title Archistrategos

incised above.


means “commander

in chief” and is a

title used for lumi-

naries, particularly

the archangel

Michael, who is

most likely repre-

sented here.

The reverse fea-

tures a wonderful

depiction of St.

George with broad

rounded shoulders

and flowing robes.

From Constantinople

or Anatolia.

A superbly incised

and important

example with beau-

tiful patina.

3 ByzantineArchistrategos and St. George

Circa 9th-11th Century AD

Length: 3.3 in. (8.5 cm)

Condition: Superb. Lower hinge





Ἀρχηστράτηγος = Ἀρχιστράτηγος

Archistrategos (Michael or another




ὁ ἅγηος Γηόργηος = ὁ ἅγιος


Saint George

Reference: See PITARAKIS, #348,

for a very closely related example

with St. John and St. George, most

certainly from the same workshop

and possibly by the same hand.

Background: Archistrategos

means “commander-in-chief” and

is usually the title of archangels

though not exclusively. In written

texts, it has been used as title of

Christ and Stephen (as well as the

archangels). It also occurs for the

Satanic hosts, as in Origen. The

word originally came from the

Hebrew Bible and was transferred

through the Septuagint to the

Christian world.

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Complete bronze

reliquary cross

(enkolpion) depict-

ing a robed figure

with arms out-

stretched in prayer

on each side. The

front inscribed with

the name of St.

Michael, and the

reverse featuring a


inscription most

likely of St. George.

Original pins both

top and bottom.

Extremely rare in

original unopened


Unopened reliquary cross4Byzantine

Circa 9th-11th Century AD

Height: 4 in. (10.2 cm)

Condition: Original unopened

state. Smooth, olive-green patina

front, the reverse with lighter

green patina and very tip of left

arm broken away.




Μηχαήλ = Μιχαήλ




ὁ ἅγι(ο)ς Γιε(όρ)γ(ι)ος(?)

Saint George?

Reference: See PITARAKIS,

Supplemental #7, for an example

with Saints Michael and George.

See also #79, PRINCETON for a

reliquary depicting Michael.

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Byzantine5Jesus christ and Virgin

Complete bronze

reliquary cross

(enkolpion) with art-

ful depiction of

Jesus Christ with

intricately styled

flowing robes, an

ornate halo also

symbolic of a crown

of thorns, and out-

stretched arms with

a cross on each side

symbolic of the nail

piercings. His feet,

each with a nail

piercing, protrude

from below his gar-

ment. Inscribed

above with the

abbreviated form of

Jesus Christ. The

reverse depicts a

figure with arms

outstretched in

prayer wearing

beautifully detailed

robes with Panaghia

inscription above.

Superbly preserved.

Circa 9th-11th Century AD

Length: 3.3 in. (8.4 cm)

Condition: Intact with superb

patina on both sides. Hinge at

bottom intact.




Ἠ(σοῦ)ς {Ἰ(ησοῦ)ς} Χ(ριστό)ς

Jesus Christ



Παναγήα = Παναγία

Panaghia (meaning All-Holy)

Reference: See PITARAKIS, #236,

for related iconography, and also

TEMPLE, #57, for a reliquary cross

with Panaghia.

Background: Panaghia (also

transliterated as Panagia and

Panayia), meaning “All Holy,” was

the title given to the Virgin after

her motherhood of Christ was

confirmed at the Council of

Ephesus in 431 AD.

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Byzantine 6 Mary as Mother of God

Bronze reliquary

cross (enkolpion)

depicting four fig-

ures. The two cen-

tral figures are

undoubtedly Christ

and the Virgin

Mary, Mother of

God, as indicated

by the inscription

above. Two addi-

tional figures, en

buste without

inscription, are pre-

sented at the end of

the left and right

arms. By conven-

tion, the two busts

may represent St.

John and St. Paul.

Superb patina and

sharp inscription. A

scarcer type with

four figures.

Circa 9th-11th Century AD

Length: 3.25 in (8.2 cm)

Condition: Intact and attractive

except one bottom hinge missing

and a small pin-hole to the right



ΜΗΡ ΘΥ = μή(τη)ρ θ(εο)ῦ

Mother of God

Reference: See PITARAKIS, #318

and #319 for related examples

with Christ and Mary flanked by

anonymous busts, and #452 for

an example flanked by busts iden-

tified as St. John and St. Paul.

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Byzantine7St John and Panaghia

Large, solid bronze

pendant cross with

single attachment

loop at top. On the

front, a single full-

length portrait of an

elaborately robed

man is depicted

with arms out-

stretched in prayer.

Two triangular

motifs, perhaps

palm branches,

flank the figure. An

inscription above

identifies the figure

as St. John the

Theologian. St. John

was son of Zebedee

and the beloved

apostle of Christ.

He is believed to

have authored the

Gospel and first

Epistle of John, and

to have outlived the

other Apostles. He

is also known as

John the Evangelist

and John the Divine.

On the reverse, a

similar figure is

shown surmounted

by a Panaghia


Circa 9th-11th Century AD

Height: 3.4 in. (8.6 cm)

Condition: Intact. Olive brown

patina with two small areas of

very light encrustation.

Attachment loop intact.




ὁ θεολόγος τ(ου ??) or Ι(οάννης ??)

The Theologian (meaning St. John

the Theologian)



Παναγήα = Παναγία

Panaghia (meaning “All-Holy” the

title of the Virgin Mary)

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Page 12: Ancient Art XLIV


Circa 9th-11th Century AD

Height: 3.8 in (10 cm)

Condition: Intact as shown, no

pin in lower hinge.

Reference: See PITARAKIS #508

for an uninscribed example with a

figure, and #620 for a variant of

the etched cross reverse.

8 incised Figure and cross

Complete bronze

reliquary cross

(enkolpion) depict-

ing, on obverse, a

single standing fig-

ure with arms

stretched out in

prayer. The figure

is drawn in a very

schematic style.

On the reverse, a

large cross is

incised with

punched dots punc-

tuating each of the

extremities and the

center. A large

piece of the original

bronze attachment

at the top remains.

Nice green patina.

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Page 13: Ancient Art XLIV


Circa 8th-10th Century AD

Length: 8.4 in. (21.3 cm)

Width: 4.2 in. (10.5 cm)

Condition: Intact.



Μηχαήλ = Μιχαήλ



μή(τηρ) θ(εο)ῦ

Mother of God


ἡ ἁγήα Μαρνα ? = ἡ ἁγία Μαρία ?

Saint Mary (Magdalen) ?

Reference: Crosses with tear-

shaped projections appear in the

seventh century and continued

with reduced frequency into the

eleventh century.

Reference: See PITARAKIS, figure

#87, for an example in Athens.

Also see MALCOVE, #177.

9Large Processional crossLarge solid

bronze proces-

sional cross with

two knobs at the

end of each flar-

ing arm and a

long flange for

insertion into a

socket. The

front engraved,

from top, with

the images of

the winged


Michael, a

haloed Mary

Mother of God,

with her hands

in prayer, and

Saint Mary

Magdalen hold-

ing a cross in

her right hand.

Each figure

depicted within

a ring of dots

and identified

with an inscrip-

tion. The

reverse inscribed

with five similar


flowers. The

winged depic-

tion of the


Michael is a less

common subject

on reliquary


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Standing robed Figure10Byzantine

St. Stephen11Byzantine

Large bronze reli-

quary cross (enkol-

pion) with lovely

portrait of a haloed

figure with out-

stretched arms and

open-palm hands,

possibly St. George,

and long expressive

face. The figure

wears an ornate

robe incised with

hatched and geo-

metric patterns.

Attractive patina.

Circa 9th-11th Century AD

Height: 3.75 in. (9.5 cm)

Condition: Intact as shown.

Remains of attachment loops at

top and bottom.

Reference: See PITARAKIS,

#567-568 for related examples

identified as St. George.

Bronze reliquary

cross (enkolpion)

depicting a haloed

standing figure with

outstretched arms

in prayer and wear-

ing a full-length

robe with ornate

design. Above the

figure is an inscrip-

tion with the name

of St. Stephen.

Circa 9th-11th Century AD

Height: 3.25 in. (8.3 cm)

Condition: Intact as shown.

Thick patina. Bottom attachment

loops partially lost.



ἅγη(ος) Στέφανος = ὁ ἅγι(ος)


Saint Stephen

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Page 15: Ancient Art XLIV

Byzantine12Mary with Gospel Authors

Circa 9th-11th Century AD

Height: 3.25 in. (8.3 cm)

Condition: Intact as shown. Top

attachment loops missing.



μή(τηρ) θ(εο)ῦ

Mary, Mother of God (center)

And the Greek initials


Matthew (top)


Mark (bottom)


Luke (left)


John (right)

Reference: See PITARAKIS #112

for near identical example. For

another example cast in raised

relief in the collection of the

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, see

#45 VMFA (Virginia: 1994). Also

see WALTERS #305, for a similar

example in the Detroit Institute of

the Arts.

Additional Image: See Cover


Artful and important

bronze reliquary cross

(enkolpion) featuring

Mary and the authors of

the four gospels, all cast

in rare raised relief. Mary,

Mother of God, is depict-

ed as the central haloed

figure with flowing robes

and arms outstretched in

prayer. The end of each

arm is decorated with the

bust of a male bearded

bust within a beaded ring,

each identified by the

Greek initials of the

names Matthew, Mark,

Luke and John. Important

type. From Anatolia or


Byzantine13Mary with Gospel Authors

Circa 9th-11th Century AD

Height: 3.65 in (9.3 cm)

Condition: Intact as shown

except one loop from bottom

hinge missing. The highest relief

detail worn from heavy use in

antiquity, but very discernible.

Reference: See PITARAKIS #114,

and also VMFA, #45, and WAL-

TERS, #305.

Cast raised relief cross simi-

lar to above, uninscribed.

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Page 16: Ancient Art XLIV


Circa 8th-11th Century AD

Height: 3.7 in. (9.6 cm)

Condition: Intact.

Reference: See PITARAKIS, #531,

for a variant with central open

cavity and punch pattern.

14 Hinged reliquary cross

Very fine, heavy, simply

decorated, complete

bronze reliquary cross

(enkolpion). Each slightly

flared arm is decorated

with a large concentric

dot pattern and a series of

smaller dot. At the cen-

ter, a large incised circular

pattern with a central

cavity. The top hinge is

attached to the loop of a

large suspension arm.

Front and back cover

have similar design.

Lovely patina.

Byzantine Mother of God inscription15

Top half of a bronze reli-

quary cross (enkolpion)

depicting a full-length

central figure with flow-

ing robe neatly incised.

The head is surrounded

with a nimbus, and

inscribed above. Five

depressed cavities deco-

rate the cross and would

have originally held a

paste or glass inlay. A

large and less common

type. From Anatolia or


Circa 8th-11th Century AD

Length: 3 in. (7.6 cm)

Condition: Intact with light

encrustation. Minor loss to the

bottom of the punched cavities.

Top hinge broken away.


ΜΡ / ΘΥ = μ(ήτη)ρ θ(εο)ῦ

Mother of God

Reference: See PITARAKIS #346

for the type.

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Page 17: Ancient Art XLIV

Early Byzantine16raised relief crucifix

Circa 6th-8th Century AD

Height: 2.8 in. (7.2 cm)

Condition: Suspension loop

intact and wearable. The relief

detail worn but very discernible.

Reference: See PITARAKIS, figure

#4, for an example in the

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

For the type, see also #124 A/B

and also #119 in the VMFA.

Solid cast bronze

pendant cross

with central

depiction in high

relief of the cruci-

fied Christ

flanked on left by

a figure in profile

(mourning Mary)

and on right by a

frontal bust

(John). Two busts

adorn the top

and two angels

appear at Christ’s

feet. Rare and

very early exam-

ple of a crucifix.

Byzantine17Heavy cross with christ

Very thick, solid cast

bronze pectoral cross

with integral attachment

loop at top. The obverse

decorated with a simple

but charming and lightly

incised full-length image

of christ with outstretched

arms and inscription

above. On the reverse,

another full length figure,

possibly Mary.

Circa 8th-11th Century AD

Length: 2.8 in. (7.1 cm)

Condition: Intact. Reverse side

with slightly more wear and possi-

ble indecipherable inscription.



Ἠ(σοῦ)ς {Ἰ(ησοῦ)ς} Χ(ριστό)ς

Jesus Christ

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Page 18: Ancient Art XLIV

Byzantine 19 Uninscribed enkolpion



sized reli-

quary cross



with slightly

flaring arms.



both sides

clearly origi-

nal matched

halves. Nice

example of

the type.

Circa 8th-12th Century AD

Height: 2.25 in (6.2 cm)

Condition: Areas of light encrus-

tation. Hinge pins missing, other-

wise intact.

Byzantine 18 Large Pendant cross Early bronze


cross with

flat back,

slightly flar-

ing arms,

and integral


loop at the

top. A large

central circu-

lar cavity

would have


held a glass


Flanking the

central cavi-

ty are remains of where four circular appliques or stones

were affixed.

Circa 7th-11th Century AD

Height: 3.3 in. (8.4 cm)

Condition: Intact as shown, with

remains of light earthy encrusta-


Reference: See PITARAKIS #200

for related type. Also see VMFA,

page 114, for a related example

with central cavity.

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Byzantine20christ nailed to cross

Byzantine21Heavy Pendant cross

Heavy, thickly cast medi-

um-sized bronze pendant

cross with flaring arms and

integral attachment loop at

top. Nice patina and dis-

tinctive style. Wearable.

Circa 6th-10th Century AD

Height: 2.15 in. (5.5 cm)

Condition: Intact with smooth

dark green patina.

Top half of a

bronze reli-

quary cross




Jesus Christ,

nimbus at his

head, as a


unbearded fig-

ure with flow-

ing robes dec-

orated with a

hatched and

ribbon incis-

ing. His arms

are spread

apart and at

each hand a

large nail is


Extremely fine

and rare.

Circa 9th-11th century AD

Height: 3.25 in. (8.3 cm)

Condition: Intact as shown with

bottom loop gone. Superb patina.



Ἠ(σοῦ)ς {Ἰ(ησοῦ)ς} Χ(ριστὸ)ς νικᾷ

Jesus Christ conquers/is victorious

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Page 20: Ancient Art XLIV

Circa 8th-11th Century AD

Length: 2.4 in (6.1 cm)

Condition: Intact as shown with

nice toning.

Reference: See PITARAKIS, #606,

and also see VMFA, page 114, for

the type.

Byzantine 22 Pendant cross

Circa 7th-10th Century AD

Height: 2.1 in (5.3 cm)

Condition: Intact as shown, with

a small surface chip lower left,

otherwise very fine.

Background: The tear-drop pro-

jections were common in the

Seventh century and continued

with reduced frequency into the

Middle Byzantine period.

Byzantine 23 Pendant cross

Larger pendant

bronze cross with

slightly flaring arms

and depressed cen-

tral cavity which

once held a paste or

glass inlay. Each arm

decorated with a

punched circle pat-

tern. An integral

attachment loop at

the top. Back is flat

and undecorated.

Attractive reddish-

green patina.


Pendant bronze cross

with flaring arms ter-

minating in tear-

shaped projections at

the corners. Each

arm decorated with a

punched circle pat-

tern. An integral

attachment loop at

the top. Back is flat

and undecorated.

Smooth green patina.


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Byzantine24Pendant cross

Byzantine25Pendant cross

Pendant bronze cross

with two knobs deco-

rating the terminal of

each arm. Arms are

symmetrical, result-

ing in very pleasing

aesthetics. An empty

cavity at the center

of the cross once

held a stone or glass

inlay. A neatly

applied punched cir-

cle pattern decorates

the cross. The back

is flat and undecorat-

ed. An integral

attachment loop at

the top.

Circa 7th-10th Century AD

Height: 2 in. (5 cm)

Condition: Central inlay missing

but otherwise intact as shown.

Beautiful brown patina. Wearable.

Reference: See PRINCETON, #86,

for a related example in silver

now in the Princeton Art Museum.

Pendant bronze cross

with ornately

knobbed terminals on

each arm. A central

cavity once held a

stone or glass inlay,

the balance of the

cross decorated with

a punch and circle

pattern. The flat back

is undecorated. An

integral attachment

loop at the top.


Circa 7th-10th Century AD

Height: 2.35 in. (7.2 cm)

Condition: Intact as shown. Nice


Reference: See PRINCETON, #86,

for a related example in silver

now in the Princeton Art Museum.

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Circa 6th-10th Century AD

Length: Range from 1 in. (2.5

cm) smallest to 1.5 in. (3.8 cm)


Condition: All intact as shown.

Background: Demand for pen-

dant crosses began to accelerate

in the 6th Century AD as people

sought to hang them suspended

from a cord around the neck as a

source of divine favor or blessing.

While bronze was most popular,

pendant crosses were made from

a variety of other materials includ-

ing bone, iron, silver, gold and

glass. They were used at every

level of society, especially during

the period of ‘Iconoclasm’ in the

8th - 9th Century AD when figural

depictions were forbidden by the

Orthodox Church. They are

among the most durable surviving

objects from the byzantine era and

thus provide a physical link to the

earliest days of the early Christian


Reference: For (a), see TEMPLE

#60; for (b) see #449 in WALTERS;

for (c-h) see TEMPLE #63.

Selection of fine bronze solid-cast pendant crosses includ-

ing: (a) slender rounded-arm type (probably from

Constantinople) with original dark green paste in central

cavity; (b) rounded-arm type segmented central section

and stylized with acutely tapered arms; and (c-h) six vari-

ants of a well-known type, paticularly popular in Egypt and

Syria during the early Christian period, of simple pendant

cross with punched circle pattern with lengths that taper

toward the center. All with attachment loops intact and


26 Pendant crosses



d f h



e g


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Byzantine28Buckle Plate with cross

Byzantine27enamelled Pendant crossCirca 8th-10th Century AD

Length: 1.8 in. (4.6 cm)

Condition: Intact as shown with

very attractive surface.

Reference: See PITARAKIS, #605,

for example with enameled cen-

tral cavity.

Fine, plain bronze pendant

cross with remains of a

red enamel circle at the

center enlivened with a

pattern of punched dots.

Three of the four arms

with a terminal pattern of

a row of punched dots

between vertical lines. At

the bottom a single

incised line. Flat backed,

with integral attachment

loop. Lovely patina.


Circa 7th-10th Century AD

Height: 1.5 in. (3.8 cm)

Condition: Intact, the fastening

pin lost in antiquity.

Reference: See TEMPLE no. 79

for near identical example of the


Very fine bronze buckle

plate cast in the form of a

cross. It is decorated on

the front with punched

circle motif. Lovely pati-

na and attractive.

Byzantine29circular Stylized Fitting

Stylized solid cast bronze

fitting consisting of a

rounded ring with inte-

gral, flattened projection

terminating with a curved

arm at each side. Both

sides decorated with

punched circle pattern.

Circa 8th-12th Century AD

Height: 2.5 in. (6 cm)

Condition: Intact, excellent dark

chocolate patina.

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Byzantine 30 Fine Openwork Phalera

Byzantine 31 Liturgical cross on chain

Wide-armed cross cut from a single

sheet of bronze with central raised cir-

cular boss. The cross is pierced at top

and bottom and attached to original

bronze chains. Most likely an attach-

ment from a liturgical object such as a

polycandelon, lamp, or incense burner.

Circa 6th -9th Century AD

Height: 6.75 in (17.1 cm) includ-

ing chain

Condition: Intact as shown

Background: The polycandelon

was a predecessor to the chande-

lier. It consisted of a large bronze

round plate, hanging from a small-

er bronze disc, which was sus-

pended on chains from the vault

or ceiling of a church.

This fine bronze

openwork cross

with equal, flaring

arms is cut out of a

circular disc to

which it is connect-

ed by slender pro-

jections at each of

the eight corners of

the cross. A punch

and circle pattern

decorates both

sides. The stub of a

projecting tongue,

used for attach-

ment, at the top.

Circa 8th-11th Century A.D.

Height: 1.8 in. (4.6 cm)

Condition: Intact as shown, top

of tang missing.

Reference: For a similar bronze

phalera in the Virginia Museum of

Fine Arts, see VMFA #97.

Background: The remains of the

projecting tang suggests that the

object may have been used as a

harness fitting, suspended from

the head or chest gear of horses.

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Page 25: Ancient Art XLIV

Circa 9th-11th Century AD

Diameter: 1.7 in. (4.2 cm)

Condition: Intact as shown, with

small chip from right edge. The

incised features of the face worn.


Η / ΠΟ / ΛΥ / Χ / ΡΟ / ΝΗ / Α

ἡ Πολυχρονήα = ἡ Πολυχρονία

Polychronia (female name: mean-

ing “many years”)

Background: Polychronia is the

mother of St. George. She became

a Christian without her husband’s

knowledge, then upon his death

returned to her native Palestine to

raise her son. George became

revered when, as a young adult,

he defied the Roman ruler

Diocletian at the start of the Great

Persecution (circa 304 AD).

Byzantine33Medallion with Polychronia

Important thin

bronze medallion

with incised ring

border and deco-

rated with an

embossed half-

length incised

portrait of a fig-

ure, probably

Polychronia. The

figure grasps an

incised robe with

the right hand

and holds the

open palm of the

left hand in prayer. A nimbus surrounds the figure’s head,

incised tresses of hair fall past the shoulder. Polychronia is

known as the mother of St. George and her name is syn-

onymous with the acclamation “God Grant Many Years.”

Byzantine32Medallion with Apostle

Circa 9th-11th Century AD

Diameter: 1.5 in. (3.8 cm)

Condition: Intact with excellent


Reference: See PRINCETON #62,

and GLORY #234 for the type.

Important solid

bronze medallion

with incised dot-

ted border and

decorated with a

superb half-

length incised

portrait of a

bearded Apostle,

his head encir-

cled with a nim-

bus. The Apostle

wears ornately

styled robes and

raises both

hands in prayer. Smooth, uninscribed back. Examples

known in the Princeton and Metropolitan Museums are

identified as St. Peter and St. John the Precursor.

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Circa 8th-11th Century AD

Length: 7.3 in (18.5 cm)

Condition: Intact as shown.

Lamp lid and small upper section

of right handle lost. Superb dark


Reference: See BAILEY IV,

#Q3818 and Q3819 for two simi-

lar examples in the collection of

the British Museum.

Lamp with cross and Bird34

Heavy cast,


bronze lamp

with rounded

elongated body

and long nozzle,

with flaring tip,

dished round the

circular wick-

hole. Raised,

molded rim

round the filling-

hole, stepped internally for the lost lamp lid with hinge

pieces to the rear. Elaborate double-rod handle at the rear,

curving up and forward, joining and separating, terminating

in an open-work decorative series of a bird surmounting

two loops atop a cross. The bottom of each handle where

it joins the body of the lamp is decorated with a well artic-

ulated face in profile on each side. Substantial raised base

ring with a square socket for the spike in the lamp stand.

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Byzantine35Dual Lamp with insert

Circa 6th-11th Century AD

Length: 8 in. (20.3 cm)

Condition: Fine condition overall

with light encrustation and some

mottling of the patina. There are

tiny areas of loss near one wick-

hole and under the opposite noz-

zle. Otherwise, sturdy and attrac-


Reference: See BAILEY IV,

#Q3826 for a more elaborate

example of the type without the


Sizable, high-quality

bronze dual-wick hanging

lamp with circular body

set on a low integral ring

base. Each nozzle flares

outward with rounded

wick-hole decorated with circular knobs. A semi-circular

spine runs underneath the nozzle neck from side to side.

Two original bronze chains join the lamp to a double-loop

attachment ring. Inside the lamp, a small removable

bronze inset, perhaps an incense basket with bottom

pierced in antiquity with two holes, is made to rest within

an open underside. This type of free-standing insert make

this a scarce variant of a well-known form.

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Circa 6th-11th Century AD

Diameter: 5.3 in (13.5 cm)

Condition: Intact with smooth

patina. Three tiny age fissures,

the largest being a 5mm hole to

the underside of one nozzle.

Seven Wick Bronze Lamp36

Charming, high-quali-

ty seven-wick solid

cast bronze hanging

lamp with three inte-

gral loops for attach-

ment to suspension

chain. The underside

terminates in a con-

cave footed pedestal

base. The center

with a circular filling

hole and raised rim.

Elegant shape.


Circa 5th-8th Century AD

Size: 1.4 in (3.5 cm)

Condition: Intact

Reference: For a discussion of

fish amulets, see SEPPHORIS, page

194. For two examples of

Byzantine fish amulets, see #335

and 354 in KUNST AUS ROM.

Background: Based on interpre-

tations of passages from Clement,

fish also symbolize the believer as

having been caught (that is,

saved) by the fisherman Jesus.

Early Byzantine Amuletic ‘Salvation’ Fish

Byzantine lead

amulet in the form of

a fish (perch or mul-

let), with articulated

eyes, gills, scales, fins

and bifurcated tail.

The Greek word for

fish, ichthus, was

interpreted as an

abbreviation for the phrase Iesous Christos Theou (H)uios

Soter, meaning “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour.” Nice

detail and quite interesting.

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Circa 5th-7th Century AD

Diameter: 0.86 in (2.2cm)

Condition: Slight abrasion as

shown, opposite side is excellent.

Reference: See ANTIOCH, pg 86,

for a discussion of gaming and

domestic entertainment.

Early Byzantinetoken with cross PatternSimple but wonderful circular

bone token or gaming counter

hand-carved identically on

both sides with alternating tri-

angular cavities and circular

punches that produced a cross

pattern regardless of how the

disc is rotated.

Early Byzantine

Circa 6th-8th Century AD


(a): 1.8 in. (4.6 cm)

(b): 1.3 in. (3.3 cm)

(c): 0.6 in. (1.5 cm)

Condition: Superb with sharp


Reference: See EMPORIO, #115

for an identical example of (a)

along with a chart of weights and

values. Also see ANTIOCH, page

87-88 for a discussion of weights

in the early Byzantine period.

38cross-inscribed Weights

Three early Byzantine bronze square weights, two

inscribed with the Cross, a symbol that was used on

weights as an added mark of quality and honesty. The

largest of the weights, (a) depicts a large central cross

flanked on both sides by the Greek letter Γ (abbreviation for

the Greek oungia) and encircled within a wreath. At 79.95

grams, the weight represents the value of 3 early

Byzantine ounces, and is identical in weight and markings

to one found at Emporio in Chios in the 1950s by the

British School at Athens. Weight (b) at 26.6 grams repre-

sents the value of 1 ounce and is decorated with a wreath-

encircled cross flanked by the Greek letters Γ and Λ. An

additional small cross is used at each of the four corners.

Both weights are incised and originally inlaid with silver,

slight traces of which remains. Weight (c) is of a simpler

form with two circle punches on each side, probably indi-

cating a value of two nomisma.

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Page 30: Ancient Art XLIV


Circa 5th-6th Century AD

Ring Size: 8.5 (18.6 mm)

Condition: Thin part of band

neatly repaired. Wear to bezel.


VΓἸΑ (health)

Reference: See KALAVREZOU,

#126 for an identical example

now in the Walters Museum.

Background: The significance of

“health” is related to successful

conception and childbirth.

Early Byzantine christian Marriage ring

Early Christian bronze marriage ring engraved on the bezel

with the images of a husband and wide en buste flanking a

central cross. The iconography of early Christian marriage

closely evolves from and resembles the official imagery of

Roman imperial coins and art of this period.

Early Byzantine

Circa 5th-7th Century AD

Diameter: 4.9 in (12.5 cm)

Condition: Intact and overall

very crisp incised decoration with

legible inscriptions. Minor losses

at the edge as visible in photo.

Reference: See GALAVARIS #81

for the type. In his seminal work

on Bread and the Liturgy,

Galavaris dates this particular type

to the Early Byzantine Period (5th-

6th Century AD), and is most like-

ly from Coptic Egypt.

Background: Excavations at

Achmim-Panopolis have yielded a

large number of Christian stamps,

some of which have been identi-

fied as bread stamps; these have

found their way into various

museums and collections in Egypt

and in Europe. Others have been

unearthed in Palestine at impor-

tant early Christian sites. Asia

Minor and Constantinople have

also provided examples.

40 eucharistic Bread Mold


bread mold

carved from

a single sec-

tion of wood.

The large cir-

cular front

side is

incised with

central cross


at each right

angle with a

small bor-

dered square

enclosing a

Greek inscription including the abbreviated name of Jesus

Christ in three of the four squares. Triangular shapes deco-

rate each midpoint of the core design, forming arms of an

outer cross. Concentric rings decorate

the border. The reverse is smooth

and undecorated except for the flat

knob of the handle which is carved in

the shape of a square with inscriptions

divided into four smaller blocks with

Greek inscriptions. Extremely rare,

dating from the Early Byzantine Period.

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Page 31: Ancient Art XLIV

Early Byzantine

Circa 4th-6th Century AD

Length: 17.7 in. (45 cm)

Condition: All but three beads

intact. Each bead subtly unique in

size and toning of the base silver.

Reference: See KUNST AUS

ROME, #278, for a related exam-

ple using an openwork granula-

tion technique to decorate the

border of an early Christian mirror.

Silver Beaded necklace 42

Very fine Byzantine necklace consisting of 79 silver cube-

shaped “beads” with openwork sides and solid top and bot-

tom where beads abut one another in succession. Each

bead clearly fashioned by hand using an unusual and

attractive granulation method, and pierced top and bottom

for attachment. The wear between beads suggests that the

necklace was worn and treasured over a long period of

time. The beads are held together on a modern string, and

could easily be refashioned with a modern chain into a

dramatic wearable necklace. A bold and exquisite exam-

ple of geometric art as jewelry.


Circa 2nd Century AD

Ring Size: 5 (15.6 mm)

Weight: 2.0 grams

Condition: Intact.

Reference: See JEWELLERY

STUDIES, p. 35, #5 and 6, for two

related examples in the British


Gold ring with Stone 43

Superb intact gold finger

ring with original, ruddy-

colored unengraved stone,

perhaps cabochon garnet.

Plain, oval-sectioned hoop

expanding to wide shoul-

ders and an oval flattened

area centered with the

stone set in a round bezel.

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Page 32: Ancient Art XLIV















Large Cross with Saints

Christ, Virgin and Stephen

Archistrategos and St. George

Unopened Reliquary Cross

Jesus Christ and Virgin

Mother of God

St. John and Panagia

Incised Figure and Cross

Large Processional Cross

Cross with Robed Figure

Cross with St. Stephen

Mary with Gospel Authors

Mary with Gospel Authors

Hinged Reliquary Cross

Mother of God

Raised Relief Crucifix

Heavy Cross with Christ

Large Pendant Cross

Uninscribed Enkolpion

Christ Nailed to Cross

Heavy Pendant Cross

Fine Openwork Phalera

Liturgical Cross on Chain

Medallion with Apostle

Medallion with Polychronia

Lamp with Cross and Bird

Dual Wick Lamp with Insert

Seven Wick Bronze Lamp

Amuletic Fish

Cross-Inscribed Weights

Token with Cross Pattern

Eucharistic Bread Mold

Christian Marriage Ring

Silver Necklace Beads

Gold Ring with Stone
















Museum Quality Ancient Ar t








Pendant Cross

Pendant Cross

Pendant Cross

Pendant Cross

Pendant Cross Group

Pendant Cross

Buckle Plate with Cross

Circular Stylized Fitting









76782 10-29:Cat44.qxd 10/29/2008 4:42 PM Page 32