Small Cast-Brass Icon, 9 Haloed Heads, Corner Legends

Discussion in 'Metalware' started by wlwhittier, Apr 16, 2024.

  1. wlwhittier

    wlwhittier Well-Known Member

    It's ~2 1/4 wide, ~2 1/2 high including the finial (which has no thru-hole), an' a bit over 1/8" thick; weight is ~2 1/2 oz.
    All the faces, except two in the upper corners, appear to be worn featureless. The 5 legends are illegible to me; they may well be Latin, or another foreign language. The central figure, whose halo looks to have 'radiance', rests on what can only be a throne, which seems to this heathen somewhat odd for a religious theme.
    The plain truth is that I am without any idea of what individuals or event is depicted here...or where it was created.
    An obvious question is why there's a non-functional finial at the top; another has to do with who these characters are in history...or myth. Please help me understand the significance of this we plaque.
    Thanks for lookin'!

    P1410096.jpeg P1410103.jpeg P1410101.jpeg P1410100.jpeg P1410097.jpeg P1410098.jpeg P1410099.jpeg P1410102.jpeg
  2. Roaring20s

    Roaring20s Well-Known Member

  3. wlwhittier

    wlwhittier Well-Known Member

    WAY cool, RT! A perfect place to start. Thanks!
    Bronwen, komokwa and Roaring20s like this.
  4. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    It is a travel icon of the Deësis, possibly Russian. In the link Roaring posted you can find a short explanation.
    For a longer one:

    The text is likely to be Old or Church Slavic.
    The one above Jesus says 'Jesus'.;) That's about as far as my knowledge of Cyrillic script goes, so tagging @IvaPan , @Aznathalie .:) You have to bear in mind though, that with the rubbing not all names are legible.
    I think it is meant to be a rudimentary cross.

    Are you sure it is brass? The brownish colour is more bronze-like. And just to be sure, have you tried a magnet on it?

    It looks like a very old travel icon, but with Russians faking everything of value, I hesitate to say it is.
    It looks good, but it could be a cast from an genuine old one, with the cast having been 'aged'. I'll come back to this thread a couple of times, hoping to get a better 'grasp'.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2024
  5. wlwhittier

    wlwhittier Well-Known Member

    Many, if not most, of those in the RT link, like the Google lens responses, show Jesus an' the 12 I wonder who these 9 folks are?
    I've looked carefully, an' don't believe mine is a re-cast of an earlier piece...the wear appears patently genuine.
    I said brass as bronze is mostly brass, an' without destructive testing, differentiation is difficult. Also, the icon is certainly non-ferrous.
  6. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    The ones on either side of Jesus' throne are Mary and John the Baptist. Those two usually flank the throne, and I recognize them.
    It looks like the two on either side of his head are angels, the wings can be discerned.
    The others could be saints that are important in the Orthodox Church.
    IvaPan likes this.
  7. Aznathalie

    Aznathalie Well-Known Member

    The icon depicting the days of the week is called "Седмица" “Week”.
    In the center is the Almighty Savior on the throne, on the sides are the upcoming Mother of God and John the Baptist, behind the throne are the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, above are the apostles Peter and Paul.
  8. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Thank you Nathalie.:)
    IvaPan, Aznathalie and komokwa like this.
  9. IvaPan

    IvaPan Well-Known Member

    Sorry for not being available for a (quite) while.
    Aznathalie did it great, it is exactly that.
    Just to add - plus the seven (седмица-week) hallowed figures described, there are two more at the very bottom - two prophets, one is seemingly Samuel (Самуил), the other one I cannot discern.
    Last edited: May 17, 2024
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