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MAGNIFICENT LATE BYZANTINE BELT BUCKLE WITH INTACT GALLERY WIRE DECORATION

Eastern Europe

LATE BYZANTINE PERIOD:  14th - 15th CENTURY AD

This is an unusual offer - it is a complete, intact Late Byzantine belt buckle.  It shows undamaged interior gallery wire with a typical Byzantine eastern motif.  The central raised portion shows a bronze enhancement.  Hook and loop are complete and undamaged.  Original earthen deposits remain in the face background.  Highly recommended as seldom do you ever see any pieces like this offered on the open market.  NO REPAIR AND NO RESTORATION - AS ORIGINALLY MADE WITH ONLY LIGHT CLEANING.

WARNING:  There is an ALARMING number of fake ancient artifacts on the market.  As fine quality intact, original specimens become more scarce and techniques have become more sophisticated to fake these artifacts.  We have personally handled numerous extremely well-done fakes with convincing patinas that could fool most people.  The degree to which the fakers have been able to replicate patina to disguise their work requires an expert examination by highly experienced individuals.  Like all rare collectibles, fakes plague the market.  Paleo Direct subjects every piece we offer to a full analysis, cleaning and conservation process in our on-site lab.  How many dealers do this or have any experience in operating their own lab?  The procedures we put each piece through are the same as we do for those specimens destined for museums and the same procedures as the best museums perform on their own collections.  Deal only with sources that are extremely knowledgeable in forgeries or altered pieces and get a written guarantee of authenticity that has no conditions or expiration period.  Paleo Direct includes this guarantee in writing with every item we sell.  All purchases should include from the dealer a written guarantee of authenticity with unconditional and lifetime return policies regarding such guarantee.


Perhaps no other epoch in history is so unique, extensive and yet, as much forgotten as that of the Byzantine Roman Empire.  From the founding of its new capitol in Constantinople, 330 AD to its final fall to the Ottoman invaders in 1453, over eleven hundred years of history has virtually been lost in most minds of the Western world.  Ironically, it is this exact history that has extensively shaped the Western cultures today, especially those of the Christian faith.

No event in Western history was probably more pivotal than that of the Christian conversion of the Roman emperor Constantine I.  Up to that time, Christians were heavily persecuted by many of the previous emperors and the religion was outlawed.  That would all change in 324 AD with a miraculous military victory and subsequent conversion to Christianity by Constantine I at the Milvian Bridge.  From this point on, Christianity became the official religion of the Empire.  A new capitol was established in Constantinople (present day Istanbul, Turkey) and power was fully transferred from Rome to Constantinople in 476 AD.  It was not the end of the Roman Empire but a continuation and fascinating transformation of Roman rule that would last for another one thousand years!

In the Byzantine Period, the Roman Empire and Christianity were completely interwoven.  It was the quintessential example of the UNION of church and state.  What was once the ancient world's greatest enemy of the faith, overnight became its most devoted advocate.  The classic architecture, style of dress, and overall appearance of all that was "Old Rome" took on a new and intricate style that the world has never seen before or since.  This was not only attributed to the influence of the capitol's new geographic location, but also to the foremost prominence of Christianity in the Roman world. 

A well-known remnant of the Byzantine Period is the stunning and unique art of the religious Icons.  This abstract spiritual style can be immediately recognized and is evident in not only paintings and mosaics but also the era's architecture and coins.  What was once thought of as crude numismatic issues are now appreciated as highly stylized symbols of the Romans' devout faith.

After the establishment of Constantinople as the new capitol and navel of the Roman world, the Empire continued for almost a millennium eventually bridging ancient and medieval history but not without its share of enemies.  Numerous challenges of foreign armies took its toll on defenses and finally, on May 29, 1453 AD, the Muslim Ottomans overran the crumbling city walls and the sun set forever on the greatest empire that the ancient world had ever known.

 

AN EXTREME RARITY IN THE ANCIENT ARTIFACT MARKET - ORIGINAL AND COMPLETE WITH INTACT DECORATIVE MOTIF

3" x 2.25"

SOLD     R116     INCLUDES DISPLAY BOX     Actual Item - One Only

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