RARE LARGE ANTIQUE 17-19th CENTURY ORTHODOX "OLD BELIEVERS" ORNATE "SUN" CROSS

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Seller: Top-Rated Seller godblessyou21 (883) 100%, Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ships to: US & many other countries, Item: 202616245448 Gorgeous, beautifully preserved, antique large (over 2" long) Orthodox Cross pendant featuring a traditional early "Old Believers" ornate design, with the center of the cross surrounded by ornamental circle similar to a "Solar", or a "Sun" cross, and a 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. Cast from bronze or similar copper alloy, inlaid with white enamel (only small fragments of enamel preserved); covered with beautiful original green patina from the past centuries. The Cross is slightly bent and mildly worn off as a result of devotional wearing, has few small dents and superficial scratches. The inside of the solid necklace bale shows signs of wear consistent with long continuous wearing. Origin likely 17th to early 19th century Russian North. The size of the pendant is shown on the photographs for this listing. Authentic antique symbol of faith, this Cross is a collectible object and is not recommended for wearing because of its potential fragility and unknown chemical composition. The origin of the Cross is likely associated with the Pomorian community also known as "Pomortsy" founded in late 17th century in the Russian Northern region of Karelia on the banks of the Vyg river. The "Pomortsy" Old Believers soon became famous for their most beautiful, detailed cast copper artwork, such as Orthodox "body" crosses and icons, often decorated with enamels of various colors similar to those preserved on this Cross. 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. The kingship of Jesus is also symbolized by four large images resembling the Russian Imperial crown positioned in the four crossbar ends of the cross pendant. (Alternatively, these symbols can be interpreted as images of Orthodox Cathedrals with many domes). Each of the "crowns" have a small abbreviated inscription in Church Slavonic incorporated into the crown shape. The "crown" in the top end of the vertical crossbar incorporates an abbreviated inscription meaning "KING OF GLORY" used in the Eastern Orthodox pectoral crosses as a nameplate in their top part. The "crowns" in 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. The "crown" shape in the bottom end of the vertical crossbar bears the ancient Greek "NIKA" inscription meaning "VICTORIOUS" symbolizing Christ's victory over sin and death. A small, symbolic image of the skull, or Adam's head, buried 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. There are four additional, diagonal crossbeams superimposed on the circle surrounding the center of the cross. The ornamental, openwork circle makes it similar to a Celtic-style "Solar", or "Sun Cross". The diagonal bars usually symbolize the cross of Saint Andrew the Apostle. St. Andrew is considered the Founder and the first Bishop of the Christian Church of Byzantium, and is the patron saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Saint Andrew is believed to have been crucified on the Crux decussata (X-shaped cross, or "Saltire"). There are small droplet-like shapes covering the left and right sides of the vertical crossbar of the pendant. They might have a symbolic meaning as drops of the Most Precious Blood of the Savior, Jesus Christ, or as the "good fruits" of the vine sprouting from the Holy Cross. The reverse of the cross bears a complex ornament with another circle as a centerpiece. The ornament incorporates text of a small fragment of a prayer appearing as the Prayer before the Holy Cross in Church Slavonic meaning: "THE CROSS IS KEEPER OF ALL UNIVERSE..." 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: Gorgeous, beautifully preserved, antique large (over 2" long) Orthodox Cross pendant featuring a traditional early "Old Believers" ornate design, with the center of the cross surrounded by ornamental circle similar to a "Solar", or a "Sun" cross, and a 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. Cast from bronze or similar copper alloy, inlaid with white enamel (only small fragments of enamel preserved); covered with beautiful original green patina from the past centuries. The Cross is slightly bent and mildly worn off as a result of devotional wearing, has few small dents and superficial scratches. Origin likely 17th to early 19th century Russian North. The size of the pendant is shown on the photographs for this listing. Authentic antique symbol of faith, this Cross is a collectible object and is not recommended for wearing because of its potential fragility and unknown chemical composition., Country/Region of Manufacture: Unknown, Material: Bronze or similar copper alloy, enamel, Featured Refinements: Antique Orthodox Cross

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