18 Karat Gold Pendant with Garnets Featuring a Byzantine Bronze Cross

SKU FJ.7320

500 AD to 900 AD


2″ (5.1cm) high




Eastern Mediterranean

Gallery Location



This Ancient Cross Has Been Set in a Modern 18 Karat Gold Pendant Completed by Four Garnet Highlights

Though the cross is one of the simplest of forms, it is probably the most poignant. For Christians, the cross is the most potent symbol in existence, representing the earthly suffering, spiritual liberation, resurrection, and eternal life of Jesus Christ. The fact that an instrument of death was turned into a symbol of spiritual rebirth is amazing in itself. This is especially true for the faithful, and the Byzantine age was certainly one of fervent piety and extreme fanaticism. In terms of religious expression, this lovely cross falls into the category of gentle piousness and deep devotion. This Latin-shaped cross has been incised with a representation of Mary. The Virgin is shown with her arms outstretched in prayer, bent upward towards the heavens. This specific pose is known as the Virgin Orans, meaning “Praying Virgin.” The forms of figure have been abstracted, especially regarding her lack of facial features. This suggestive style heightens the spirituality of the work, for it is the idea of the holiness of the Virgin that is the focus, not her physicality.

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