Byzantine 'Calvary' Bifacial Reliquary Box Lid
Copper-alloy, 28.43 grams, 41.41 mm. Circa 12th-15th century AD. A cast copper-alloy hinged lid from a reliquary. The upper face is recessed, containing concentric ropework rings with the central motif of the crucifixion in front of a masonry wall flanked by robed figures, with the nimbate head and hands of God above. In one corner are the letters IC with a stroke above. To the reverse is a disc with the raised motif of the cross on a hill between city towers. To one edge are two hinge-straps. Reference: cf. silver hinged-lid reliquary in Banck, A. Byzantine Art in the Collections of the USSR, Moscow, 1966 item 196-7. Very fine condition. Provenance: from an old English collection.