RARE ANTIQUE c.18th CENTURY LARGE SILVER "OLD BELIEVERS" ORTHODOX CROSS PENDANT

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Seller: Top-Rated Seller godblessyou21 (882) 100%, Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ships to: US & many other countries, Item: 202682675359 Unique, beautifully preserved large (over 2" long) and massive (over 12g) silver Orthodox Cross pendant featuring the traditional "Old Believers" plain and humble right-angled design with image of the three-bar Cross over the skull (Adam's head), words of the Orthodox prayer based on Psalm 68 of David the King inscribed on the reverse, and robust solid necklace bale. Origin likely c. early 18th century Russia. The Cross appears to be handmade of unmarked silver alloy; was acid-tested positive for the presence of silver (please see the last pictures). The test cannot exclude a thick silver plate, but likely represents an old silver alloy with silver content somewhat higher than the "billon" but lower than official "62" Imperial Russian "zolotnik" standard of silver purity. It is mildly worn off according to its age, with small deformations, dents and scratches, and covered with patches of dark patina/oxidation. The size and weight of the pendant are shown on the photographs. Authentic antique symbol of Christian faith.The absence of a hallmark on Russian Imperial silver jewelry was not unusual before year 1700 when Tsar (King) Peter I the Great of Russia issued his "Ukaz" (Decree) making the Russian standardized hallmarking mandatory for the master makers using precious metals, gold and silver. Tsar Peter I's Decree ("Silver Assay Charter") ordered the items made by silversmiths to four standard grades of silver purity: 62, 84, 90 and 96 "zolotniki" (ancient Russian weight measure).The obverse bears an image of the three-bar Suppedaneum cross. The Byzantine three-bar cross is 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 top end of the vertical crossbar incorporates the larger, two-word, abbreviated inscription meaning "KING OF GLORY" used in the Eastern Orthodox pectoral crosses as a nameplate in their top part. The side ends of the central horizontal crossbar bear the Sacred Name of Jesus Christ inscribed as the Greek Christogram, as the "IC" on the left, and the "XC" on the right. Parallel to the vertical crossbar, there are images of the two Instruments of the Passion (Arms of Christ, Arma Christi), the Holy Lance (spear, marked as "K" for the Church Slavonic "Kopiye") of a Roman soldier, and the Holy Sponge attached to the end of a cane (marked as "T" for the Church Slavonic "Trost"). They are subjects to adoration along with the Cross, and are often depicted on the Byzantine-style "Golgotha" crosses worn as Baptism, body crosses for the entire life of a faithful Christian. Just below the central horizontal crossbar, there is the "NIKA" inscription in Church Slavonic (as "NI" on the left and "KA" on the right side) meaning the "VICTORY" of Christ over sin and death. 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 also symbolizing the ultimate victory of Christ over sin and death. In the bottom end of the vertical crossbar, there is a four letter abbreviation in Cyrillic letters "МЛРБ" ("MLRB") meaning "The CALVARY (Golgotha) BECAME PARADISE", a symbol of the execution place becoming a place of the redemption and reclaiming of the lost paradise.The reverse bears an abbreviated version of Psalm 68 in Church Slavonic meaning "MAY GOD ARISE AND MAY HIS ENEMIES BE SCATTERED...". The words of the prayer are worn off, but identifiable. This psalm-based prayer is traditionally inscribed on the reverse of the Old Believers' Orthodox body (Baptism) cross pendants, meaning to provide protection of the faithful cross-bearer against the evil spirits (God's enemies), and thereby is considered a version of the Exorcism prayer. 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 original 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 large (over 2" long) and massive (over 12g) silver Orthodox Cross pendant featuring the traditional "Old Believers" plain and humble right-angled design with image of the three-bar Cross over the skull (Adam's head), words of the Orthodox prayer based on Psalm 68 of David the King inscribed on the reverse, and robust solid necklace bale. Origin likely c. early 18th century Russia. The Cross appears to be handmade of unmarked silver alloy; was acid-tested positive for the presence of silver (please see the last pictures). The test cannot exclude a thick silver plate, but likely represents an old silver alloy with silver content somewhat higher than the "billon" but lower than official "62" Imperial Russian "zolotnik" standard of silver purity. It is mildly worn off according to its age, with small deformations, dents and scratches, and covered with patches of dark patina/oxidation. The size and weight of the pendant are shown on the photographs., Country/Region of Manufacture: Unknown, Material: Silver alloy; acid-tested, Featured Refinements: Antique Orthodox Cross, Type: Pendant

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