Seller: houghton-usa (1,377) 100%, Location: Sequim, Washington, Ships to: US, CA, MX, Item: 262726099998 Condition: This stunning, Holy Spirit Belt Buckle was cast from a low-grade, silver alloy called “Billon” and dates to Byzantine times, 1200—1600 AD. The belt buckle was a metal detector find in Bulgaria and it has a marvelous, rich decoration of floral patterns and an amazing Biblical image the Winged Messenger of God—the Dove. The back plate is made of Copper. Incredible form and shape. Real masterpiece of the Balkans Antique Folk Art. No damages!!! Intact and well preserved. Superb patina. Very RARE type!!! Excellent buckle. Circa. 1200-1600 AD It is in "as found" condition when it was recovered in Bulgaria. Please see photos and bid accordingly. Thank You!, Provenance: Ownership History Available, Material: Silver Alloy, Details: ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS Artifacts, Antiques & Fine Collectibles Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE eBay Note: This object is unconditionally guaranteed authentic. It has been legally imported to the U.S from Bulgaria., and is legal to sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14. This stunning, Holy Spirit Belt Buckle was cast from a low-grade, silver alloy called “Billon” and dates to Byzantine times, 1200—1600 AD. The belt buckle was a metal detector find in Bulgaria and it has a marvelous, rich decoration of floral patterns and an amazing Biblical image the Winged Messenger of God—the Dove. The back plate is made of a single copper band that may have been added in antiquity. Real masterpiece of the Balkans Antique Folk Art with a beautiful floral motif. Intact and well preserved. Superb patina. Very RARE type!!! Excellent Christian Dove Belt Buckle. Circa. 1200-1600 Size: 2.5” x 2.16” (63/55 mm.) Weight: 1.2 oz. (33 g) The front of the buckle also has an inscription that is stamped into it that is written in ancient Greek and is a religious reference to God. It reads: “ΣXΛTANAKΘ MAKA ΓZIAΓ MIT PIA” In Byzantine times, they used Latin inscriptions until about 610 AD, and then officially switched to Greek, so this belt buckle was made after 610 AD. In Latin, the last word “PIA” is translated as “Pious.” I'm unable to translate the rest of the inscription, any help would be appreciated. :) Brief History of the Winged Dove The Holy Spirit descends on Jesus in the form of a dove, as shown in a 14th-century Byzantine mosaic from the Baptistery in the Church of San Marco in Venice. Credit: Alinari/Art Resource, NY. But perhaps the most familiar dove imagery from the New Testament is recounted in all four of the Gospels (though in varying forms) at the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. After Jesus came up out of the water, the [Holy] Spirit [of God] came from heaven and descended on him “like a dove” (see Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32). The baptism story built on the pre-existing symbol of the dove as God’s spirit (and its many other meanings) and firmly entrenched it as the preferred representation of the Holy Spirit—especially in later artistic depictions of the Trinity. In Renaissance art, a dove became a standard element in the formulaic Annunciation scene, representing the Holy Spirit about to merge with the Virgin Mary. Doves were also shown flying into the mouths of prophets in Christian art as a sign of God’s spirit and divine authority. Another source associates a dove with the beginning of Jesus’ life. According to the second-century Protoevangelium of James, when the Temple priests were trying to choose a husband for Mary, a dove flew out of Joseph’s rod and landed on his head, marking him as the one selected by God. In fairy tales throughout the world, birds have often been used to signify the “chosen one,” the true king or even the divine. Before the cross gained prominence in the fourth century, the second-century church father Clement of Alexandria urged early Christians to use the dove or a fish as a symbol to identify themselves and each other as followers of Jesus. Archaeologists have recovered oil lamps and Eucharistic vessels in the shape of doves from Christian churches throughout the Holy Land. Since ancient times the dove was used to identify and represent the divine. It then helped countless peoples to envision and understand the many aspects of a God who could not be embodied by an idol or statue. It continues to be a favorite way to show the hand and presence of God in the world and remains one of our most enduring symbols. Source: Dorothy Resig Willette, formerly the managing editor of Biblical Archaeology Review, who is now contributing editor at the Biblical Archaeology Society. Silver Alloy Metals in Early Europe Reference: Wikipedia Billon /ˈbᵻlən/ is an alloy of a precious metal (most commonly silver, but also mercury) with a majority base metal content (such as copper). It is used chiefly for making coins, medals, and token coins. The word comes from the French bille, which means "log.” The use of billon coins dates from ancient Greece and continued through the Middle Ages. During the 6th and 5th centuries BC, some cities on Lesbos Island used coins made of 60% copper and 40% silver. In both ancient times and the Middle Ages, leaner mixtures were adopted, with less than 2% silver content. Billon coins are perhaps best known from the Roman Empire, where progressive debasements of the Roman denarius and the Roman provincial tetradrachm in the 2nd century AD led to declining silver and increasing bronze content in these denominations of coins. Eventually, by the third quarter of the 2nd century AD, these coins were almost entirely bronze, with only a thin coating or even a wash of silver. Please examine the photos taken at macro carefully as they are part of the description. The AA battery is not part of the auction, just there to give you a perspective. And please ask any questions before you buy. Only Washington State residents must pay the Washington State Sales Tax. Sorry... I offer a full Money-Back Guarantee if a recognized authority disputes the authenticity of this object. Note: Please ask any questions you may have before you bid! Thanks for Looking! Per e-Bay's rules, PayPal only please! FREE SHIPPING includes Insurance within USA!