BYZANTINE PILGRIM'S RELIQUARY CROSS
5th-8th century AD. The period of the pre Islamic and early Islamic pilgrimages to the Holy Land, before Islamic suppression, which in part led to the Crusades. 1 3/4" height, comprised of two hinged and lockable crosses, each hollow backed to provide for the inclusion of a sacred relic, ordinarily the hair or bone fragment of a saint. Sometimes a splinter of the true cross. Superior quality example, gilt bronze, with the corpus and charges overlaid in high relief silver (just remnants). The back with silver inlay line depiction of the cross. Exceptional quality originally and exceptional preservation.