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Cross Arm with the Bust of St. Nicholas

late 10th century - early 11th century
9.1 cm x 4.7 cm (3 9/16 in. x 1 7/8 in.)
silver and gilding

Not on view


Additional Images
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Additional Image As mounted (with BZ.1921.7, BZ.1921.9, and BZ.1950.8)
As mounted (with BZ.1921.7, BZ.1921.9, and BZ.1950.8)
Additional Image Reverse

The fragment, which is part of the lower arm of a cross of sheet silver and repoussé, is decorated with a medallion of a bust of St. Nicholas holding a book in his left hand and blessing with his right; it is inscribed with the name of the saint in Greek. Above, there is part of a foliate decoration. The background bears the name of the archangel in Greek. The medallion has a wave-like border, and the fragment itself has an outer border of beading enclosed in a double wave.

Musée des arts décoratifs, Palais du Louvre, Pavillon de Marsan, Exposition internationale d'art byzantin, 28 mai - 9 juillet 1931 (Paris, 1931), no. 439.

M. Ross, Metalwork, Ceramics, Glass, Glyptics, Painting, Catalogue of the Byzantine and Early Mediaeval Antiquities in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection, Vol. I, (Washington, DC, 1962) no. 22, pl. XXII.

Handbook of the Dumbarton Oaks Collection, Harvard University (Washington, DC, 1967), no. 82.

L. Chuskivadze, "Vizantiiski krest iz Matschvarishi," Zograf 15 (1984), 32, fig. 15.

J.-P. Caillet, "La croix byzantine du museé de Cluny," Revue du Louvre 38 (1988), 214, fig. 15a.

J. A. Cotsonis, Byzantine Figural Processional Crosses (Washington, DC, 1994), no. 3, fig. 27.

Exhibition History
Paris, Musée des Arts Decoratifs, "Exposition d'art byzantin," 1931.

Cambridge, Fogg Museum, "A Selection of Ivories, Bronzes, Metalwork and Other Objects from the Dumbarton Oaks Collection," Nov. 15 - Dec. 31, 1945.

Dumbarton Oaks, "Byzantine Figural Processional Crosses," Sept. 23, 1993 - Jan. 29, 1995.

Acquisition History
Said to have been found in Syria.

Collection of Henry Daguerre, Paris.

Purchased from Joseph Brummer (Paris and New York), August 20, 1921.

Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, Dumbarton Oaks.

Harvard University, The Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, November 1940.

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Byzantine Collection, Washington, D.C.