Seller: ningirsu (116) 0%, Location: Budapest, Ships to: US & many other countries, Item: 263705096630 Normal 0 21 false false false RO X-NONE X-NONE Normal 0 21 false false false RO X-NONE X-NONE Extremely rare Viking or East Slavic (Kievan Rus’) gilt silver crescent-shaped Christian pendant or charm. In a central round medallion with dotted border (and gold gilt) there’s the bust of Jesus Christ (head in high relief, rest of bust in low relief) holding the Gospels and blessing, IC-XC in fields. Date: 11th-12th century AD. Lunulae, lunitsa, lunnitsy all are names of the same type of crescent-shaped charm/amulet used since ancient times. It has pre-pagan origins and was a symbol of the soul as a bird (its shape reminds of that of a bird), later used in ancient Slavic and Norse (and some other) cultures. It is and was feminine power, only worn by women. Interestingly in Eastern Slavic culture (10th-13th century AD) was used quite often, sometimes coupled with the symbol of the Cross. But depiction of Jesus Christ (with typical shortened holy name IC-XC) on a crescent shaped charm with some typical Slavic vegetal decoration is an extremely rare occurrence. This points to strong Byzantine influence or even production of this object in some Byzantine workshop (maybe even in Constantinople) to be exported to the Slavic lands. The artisan revealed the importance of the little round medallion with the bust of Christ by inscribing it in a dotted circle and adding a thin gold layer over silver, a superior technique often used by the Byzantines, which makes this object even more unusual. A lovely piece of art that shows an interesting blend between a powerful symbol of the Christian faith and ancient protective charms. Weight 5.65 grams, size: crescent has 25 mm x 25 mm without loop, a little over 1 mm thick, the loop is 5 mm in height.