Antique Russian Orthodox Brass Devotional Crucifix Icon With Mary, Saints, Seraphim
A Russian Orthodox Cross of cast brass depicting the Crucifixion of Christ with saints, seraphim, and cherubs. The cross consists of bronze alloy, dating from the 18th or 19th century.
Amazing history behind these antique icons.. after the Soviet Union took power in 1918, they outlawed religion and the production of religious iconography. The skilled artisans, rather than risk their precious items being confiscated, chose to hide them... burying the icons underground, hiding them behind walls and under wood floors. These treasures remained hidden until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989. The grandparents and great-grandparents who had hidden them passed their secret locations down generationally and fortunately for the world, the treasures were not lost.
The low relief design depicts, the body of the crucified Christ, the mourning by Jesus’ mother, Mary. And by her side Mary Magdalene, standing to the left, and the Apostle John, and Longinus the Centurion to the right side of the cross. The figures at the top of the icon are the seraphim encircling two flying angels, then God the Father, and underneath Him, the Dove, representing the Holy Spirit and finally the buried skull of Adam, which is a symbol of Calvary or Golgotha, beneath the cross.
All figures are rubbed during a prayer which after long use smooths the high relief surfaces. Traditionally the top arm of the cross of the Russian Orthodox represents the mocking sign above Christ's head naming him as "king of the Jews"; the lower arm is the footrest, slanted as a symbol of the good thief going to heaven and the bad thief going to hell.
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