RARE ANTIQUE 17-18th CENTURY ORTHODOX "OLD BELIEVERS" ORNATE "SKULL" CROSS

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Seller: Top-Rated Seller godblessyou21 (880) 100%, Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ships to: US & many other countries, Item: 202618586485 Unique, beautifully preserved, antique Orthodox pectoral Cross pendant featuring a traditional early "Old Believers" plain and humble right-angled design, with images of the three-bar Cross over the skull (Adam's head) flanked by the Instruments of the Passion, the crescent, or half-moon symbol known as "Tsata" in the center, an ancient Byzantine symbol of Christ as both the King and the High Priest, and diamond-shape or "lozenge" motif. Handmade, cast from bronze or similar copper alloy, covered with patches of brown patina from the past centuries. Slightly bent and mildly worn off according to its age with some superficial scratches and small dents. Origin likely c. 17th to 18th century Imperial Russia. The size of the pendant is shown on the photographs for this listing. Authentic antique symbol of Orthodox Christianity. The obverse of the cross pendant bears an image of the three-bar Suppedaneum cross venerated in the Eastern Orthodox and some Eastern Catholic churches. Such a cross has three horizontal crossbeams: the top one represents the "INRI" nameplate, and the bottom one, a footrest. The footrest crossbeam is depicted pointing up, toward Heaven, on Christ's right hand side where the Penitent thief, St. Dismas was crucified. The center of the cross bears a crescent, or half-moon symbol known as "Tsata". It is a traditional, ancient Byzantine symbol of Christ as both the King and the High Priest. Parallel to the vertical crossbar, there are images of the two Instruments of the Passion (Arms of Christ, Arma Christi), the Holy Lance (spear) of a Roman soldier, and the Holy Sponge attached to the end of a cane or a stick. They are subjects to adoration along with the Cross, and are often depicted on the Byzantine-style "Old Believers" crosses worn as baptism, body crosses by Orthodox Christians. The Instruments are depicted making a "V" shape and bent into the horizontal crossbar of the Cross pendant (a feature of earlier "Old Believers" artistic design of crosses). The top and side crossbar ends bear diamond-shaped, rhomboid ornaments incorporating abbreviated inscriptions in Church Slavonic. The top end of the vertical crossbar bears an abbreviated inscription meaning "KING OF GLORY" used in the Eastern Orthodox pectoral crosses as a nameplate in their top part. The inscriptions in the side ends of the central horizontal crossbar are worn out and difficult to identify, but most likely they represent the Sacred Name of Jesus Christ inscribed as the Greek Christogram, as the "IC" on the left, and the "XC" on the right. A symbolic image of the skull, or Adam's head, below the image of the Suppedaneum cross refers to Golgotha (Calvary), the elevated site where Jesus was crucified, which the Bible says means "the place of the skull" in Hebrew. An ancient tradition of Catholic and Orthodox Churches held that it was also the burial place of Adam, thus symbolizing the ultimate victory of Christ over sin and death. The bottom end of the vertical crossbar just below the skull image bears a four-letter Cyrillic abbreviation "MLRB" meaning "THE PLACE OF THE SKULL BECAME PARADISE", a symbol of the execution place becoming a place of the redemption and reclaiming of the lost paradise. The reverse is decorated with a sophisticated ornament including five "diamond" or rhomboid shapes positioned within the crossbar ends, and a star-shaped circle in the centerpiece. The ornament incorporates text of a small fragment of the Prayer before the Holy Cross in Church Slavonic meaning: "THE CROSS IS KEEPER OF ALL UNIVERSE..." The "diamond" or "lozenge" motif dates as far back as the Neolithic and Paleolithic period in Eastern Europe, and represented a sown field and female fertility. The ancient lozenge pattern often shows up in Diamond vault architecture, in traditional dress patterns of Slavic peoples, and in traditional Ukrainian embroidery. The lozenge pattern also appears extensively in Celtic art. Please examine all photographs carefully and do your own research if necessary. Please note that photographs are an important part of the item's description. The U.S. quarter coin, decorative stone, and measuring meter are not for sale, and are photographed with the item in order to provide a size reference. Please ask all questions before making a purchase. There are no guarantees with the listing because most items are authentic vintage or antique objects that are quite old. All items are sold "as is" with no returns because of a change of mind offered. Shipping and handling is free for the continental US. International buyers, please ask me for a shipping quote prior to buying. Please note that customs regulations differ from country to country, and it is a buyer's responsibility to ensure that any customs fees or other duties collected by the buyer's country are paid and satisfied in full. Condition: Used, Condition: Unique, beautifully preserved, antique Orthodox pectoral Cross pendant featuring a traditional early "Old Believers" plain and humble right-angled design, with images of the three-bar Cross over the skull (Adam's head) flanked by the Instruments of the Passion, the crescent, or half-moon symbol known as "Tsata" in the center, an ancient Byzantine symbol of Christ as both the King and the High Priest, and diamond-shape or "lozenge" motif. Handmade, cast from bronze or similar copper alloy, covered with patches of brown patina from the past centuries. Slightly bent and mildly worn off according to its age with some superficial scratches and small dents. Origin likely c. 17th to 18th century Imperial Russia. The size of the pendant is shown on the photographs for this listing. Authentic antique symbol of Orthodox Christianity., Country/Region of Manufacture: Unknown, Material: Bronze or similar copper alloy, Featured Refinements: Antique Orthodox Cross

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