A Byzantine Gold Cross Pendant,
Byzantine Period, ca. 5th - 6th Century CE
- This object qualifies for free USA shipping and a flat rate fee of $60 if shipping internationally.
This high-karat gold cross dates to the late fourth century CE. The concentric, radiant circles positioned at each terminal of the cross as well as the center have a dual meaning. First, the 5 circles or "The 5 Stigmata" represent the five wounds of Christ. The circles on the north arm represent the wound from the crown of thorns, the two sides the nails in his hands, the bottom, the nails in his feet, and finally the middle circle, the spear wound to his side. The circles also represent the 5 wells: "the Well of Pity, the Well of Mercy, the Well of Grace, the Well of Comfort," and "the Well of Everlasting Life." In ancient times, concentric circle designs were also thought to protect the wearer from the feared "evil eye."
Strung as a pendant on a chain of 14K gold, this strong and powerful symbol of early Christianity guarantees you will always be proud to own this small but important part of early Christian history. Designed to be worn, this piece will be treasured for another 2000 years.
Dimensions: 1 5/8 x 1 5/8 inches (4.12 cm)
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition, with traces of red patina.
Provenance: Fred Leighton, NYC private collection, acquired in or before the 1980s