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Home > Auctions > 25th May 2021 > Byzantine Gold Reliquary Pendant with Saints

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LOT 2008

GBP (£) 2,000 - 3,000
EUR (€) 2,310 - 3,470
USD ($) 2,780 - 4,160

Opening Bid
£1,800 (EUR 2,081; USD 2,499) (+bp*)

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Bid History: 0

Byzantine Gold Reliquary Pendant with Saints

11th-12th century AD or later

A bifacial gold reliquary pendant formed from two discoid halves with raised rims, hinge below and hinge with ribbed suspension loop and pin closure above; one face with repoussé nimbate Saint George wearing a mantle and quilted armour (epilorikion) and holding a spear and sword, with intricate detailing to the hair, face and clothes, Greek letters 'OΓ EPΓ' in the fields, the scene enclosed within a raised hatched border; one face with repoussé bust of Saint Mary in prayer, hands held at the chest with palms facing outwards, wearing chiton and maphorion decorated with the cross, Greek letters 'MP θY' in the fields, enclosed within a raised hatched border. 15.66 grams, 51mm (2"). Fine condition.

From the private collection of a London antiquarian; acquired on the London art market in the 1980s; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.10716-175444.

See The British Museum, museum number 1926,0409.1, for a broadly comparable pendant with similar iconography of Saint George, of an 11th century date; see Buckton, D., Byzantium, Treasures of Byzantine Art and Culture, London, 1994, p.158, for an 11th century medallion with very similar iconography of the Mother of God, acquired by the V & A.

The image of Saint George was popular in the Christian Roman Empire and venerated by the army.