πŸ”Ž UNIDENTIFIED Old large silver cross

ANTIQUARIAN

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A friend found this yesterday in Montreal, QC. It tests silver, both chain and cross weight a total 66 grams. Trying to ID and put an age to it. The chain appears to be Byzantine Style and the writing may be also. No .925 or sterling marks but a stamp is shown below. It was found close to an area that a one time was a Nunnery. Any theories would be helpful. :thumbsup:

Thanks very much for your help,
Dave

ED801014-E9A5-4D2D-A4DF-379A4615FCB8-crop.jpeg
43337C3D-92FD-445F-BA75-08C58EBCF509-crop.jpeg
4905B831-2C18-44EA-B188-7F2E5787EB10-crop.jpeg
BAC97CD3-7FE9-4C45-B440-D9DD0033D09B-crop.jpeg
725FFDCB-8549-4BAB-AA4F-F61B449711B1.jpeg
 

tamrock

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It does have a tiny hallmark, like the kind you'd find on silver from like Egypt?. I'm pretty sure I have a silver chain in that very style I picked up at a thrift shop. Neat find.
 
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pepperj

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The chain was manufactured in Bali Indonesia
This style is very popular to the silver center in Celuk Bali where I bought inventory in 1992.
Here is a bracelet with the same style.
20210529_150019.jpg
 
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Red-Coat

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That's a nice hefty item.

I don't think it's Egyptian, nor that the chain pattern is specifically Balinese.

The cross itself is very typically "Eastern Orthodox", sometimes referred to generically as Russian/Greek Orthodox. Similar to this more modern example:

Eastern.jpg

The lettering for the inscription appears to be Cyrillic for which there are multiple variations in various "Russian/Slavic" territories and different time periods. It looks to be very similar to Russian Cyrillic in the "1708" version which was generally in use until about 1918:

Cyrillic.jpg

If we could have better pictures of the inscriptions on the cross (and the mark on the bail) in close-up, then we might be able to say rather more.
 
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pepperj

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That's a nice hefty item.

I don't think it's Egyptian, nor that the chain pattern is specifically Balinese.

The cross itself is very typically "Eastern Orthodox", sometimes referred to generically as Russian/Greek Orthodox. Similar to this more modern example:

View attachment 2049511

The lettering for the inscription appears to be Cyrillic for which there are multiple variations in various "Russian/Slavic" territories and different time periods. It looks to be very similar to Russian Cyrillic in the "1708" version which was generally in use until about 1918:

View attachment 2049512

If we could have better pictures of the inscriptions on the cross (and the mark on the bail) in close-up, then we might be able to say rather more.
It's a Bali style chain, I bought enough of the jewelry to know it well.
On what grounds are you disclaiming that it isn't?
Here is the same looking chain, different cross.
20210529_145138.jpg
 
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Red-Coat

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It's a Bali style chain, I bought enough of the jewelry to know it well.
On what grounds are you disclaiming that it isn't?
Here is the same looking chain, different cross.
View attachment 2049606

I didn't say it was not from Bali. I said it (the pattern) was not specifically Balinese. The chain style is commonly known as "Byzantine" and a few other names too. Although Bali is the biggest producer, the same style is and has been produced in other places too.
 
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UnderMiner

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I see what appear to be these symbols on the last image "ΫΈ Ϋ΄" can you confirm? If so this is the Farsi representation of the number 84 which would equate to 84 Zolotniki, or 87.5% silver purity.
 
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Red-Coat

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I see what appear to be these symbols on the last image "ΫΈ Ϋ΄" can you confirm? If so this is the Farsi representation of the number 84 which would equate to 84 Zolotniki, or 87.5% silver purity.

That could make sense. The cross inscriptions might then be in the Cyrillic form of the Farsi alphabet used in Tajikistan since the Soviet era. Better/close-up pictures would help.
 
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ARC

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I didn't say it was not from Bali. I said it (the pattern) was not specifically Balinese. The chain style is commonly known as "Byzantine" and a few other names too. Although Bali is the biggest producer, the same style is and has been produced in other places too.
Also correct.

The Cross is most definitely.
 
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ANTIQUARIAN

ANTIQUARIAN

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I see what appear to be these symbols on the last image "ΫΈ Ϋ΄" can you confirm? If so this is the Farsi representation of the number 84 which would equate to 84 Zolotniki, or 87.5% silver purity.
I'll message my friend to get him to confirm what these marks represent. Thanks for your post UnderMiner. :thumbsup:

A message from the finder:

The site has been mostly levelled, it’s hard to get any major info on it. I was able to find out the area was inhabited starting in the late 1500’s early 1600’s and definitely fur trade era. The original building of the nunnery was built sometime after 1830. As for other items found, there are tons of square nails right up to modern clad, no older coins yet, mostly clad, which leads me to believe it’s not a virgin site. The soil is very sandy and the chain and cross was down at least 12” deep, but sounded off like an aluminum can, that’s why it might have been missed by earlier detectorists.

The style of chain is actually Bali Byzantine and has been produced for many centuries. I will try to bring it to a Minister who works at my Mom's retirement home to see if he has any ideas where to start looking. One clue my wife spotted, is that it likely had been worn by a nun, as the bottom of the cross depicts a Nun surrounded by children. From what I understand there was a fire in the late 1800’s and the convent was moved to another location.
 
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Red-Coat

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Imagery possibly from, "Lorenzo Ghiberti, Gates of Paradise, East Doors of the Florence Baptistery"

Welcome to Tnet.

It's fairly standard imagery/iconography for an Eastern Orthodox cross. Compare to this (more modern) one, which is "Russian":

Orthodox1.jpg Orthodox2.jpg

The Florence Baptistery in Italy has no connection to the Eastern Orthodox Church
 
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Gare

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Still a very nice find :) Was it found while detecting ?
 
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Red-Coat

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Thanks for the additional pics but I still can't make out the hallmark (or maker mark?)

The problem with the Cyrillic inscription is that there are way too many alphabet variations for me to cope with in terms of reading it. Doesn't seem to be Farsi Cyrillic (Tajik) unless it's some kind of archaic version thereof. Most, but not all, of the characters match to a Cyrillic alphabet known as "Church Slavonic". That has its roots in Bulgaria but was never a language spoken or written by ordinary folk in any country. It developed to become the preferred alphabetic language used solely for inscriptions, prayers, manuscripts etc throughout Eastern Orthodox churches in multiple countries.... a bit like the way Latin became the preference throughout the Catholic Church.

Nevertheless, I think it is "Church Slavonic" but perhaps using some archaic or highly stylised characters that are difficult to recognise.

I tried putting it through a Church Slavonic translator with some guesses about the uncertain characters but the closest I came to an interpretation was "screw handle".
Hilarious (3).gif
 
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ANTIQUARIAN

ANTIQUARIAN

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Thanks for the additional pics but I still can't make out the hallmark (or maker mark?)

The problem with the Cyrillic inscription is that there are way too many alphabet variations for me to cope with in terms of reading it. Doesn't seem to be Farsi Cyrillic (Tajik) unless it's some kind of archaic version thereof. Most, but not all, of the characters match to a Cyrillic alphabet known as "Church Slavonic". That has its roots in Bulgaria but was never a language spoken or written by ordinary folk in any country. It developed to become the preferred alphabetic language used solely for inscriptions, prayers, manuscripts etc throughout Eastern Orthodox churches in multiple countries.... a bit like the way Latin became the preference throughout the Catholic Church.

Nevertheless, I think it is "Church Slavonic" but perhaps using some archaic or highly stylised characters that are difficult to recognise.

I tried putting it through a Church Slavonic translator with some guesses about the uncertain characters but the closest I came to an interpretation was "screw handle".
View attachment 2049869
I sincerely appreciate your help with the items I post for I.D. Red-Coat, you're a wealth of information Sir. :wave:
 
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ANTIQUARIAN

ANTIQUARIAN

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Still a very nice find :) Was it found while detecting ?
Sorry for missing your post Gare. :thumbsup:
Yes, my friend found this while detecting the site of a Nunnery in Montreal that was built sometime after 1830.
 
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