Remarkably rare. These tokens are only few in number. Price reduced $400.00!!!
Clay token of the True Cross, 16.5-19 mm, 1.2 gm.
Obverse - Clay token stamped with emblem of cross and tiny figures of the Apostle Peter and St. Paul to each side, reverse - blank
I was so fortunate to have had first access directly to the very finest quality and well defined of the entire hoard of tokens found many years ago. I only purchased the 6 that met my standards out of several available for this reason. Many that you see for sale will show indistinct and badly worn or misshapen images or have chips missing.
The strength of this historical reference is in it's surrounding history. All those who were party to these wars and the recovery of the spoils of war not only admit it in their history, but claim pride in their participation.
The True Cross was known to exist from the 2nd Century through the mid 7th C. where it seems to vanish until seeming to show up in multiple and various claimed artifacts around the world in the medieval ages. A small portion is historically (with viable proof) believed to exist still today!
Time Period: AD 610-641
Region: Made in the area of the Holy Land near Jerusalem
Description: A small terracotta token of dark clay featuring a cross between two saints,most accounts say St. Peter and St. Paul (or St. John) and measuring approx. 16.5-19mm in diameter.
Historical Reference: The Sassanian king, Khusro II, attacked and sacked Jerusalem and carried off the purported True Cross found by Helena several hundred years earlier during the time of Constantine the Great (AD 307-337). Khusro's wife has been claimed by some scholars to have been a Christian. The Byzantine emperor Heraclius (AD 610-641) set out to retake Jerusalem and restore the cross. After a successful campaign against the Sassanians, the True Cross was restored to Jerusalem at which time a piece of it was burned to fine ash (by order of Heraclius)and mixed with this clay to make special commemorative tokens for the soldiers and pilgrims (and I'm sure to boost sagging morale).
Made from that ash This is one of the tokens. and by many accounts, historic legend (the accounts of period historians) records these token to contain a small portion of the True Cross of Christ! These tokens are Extremely SCARCE! They are being horded rapidly for private collections and church relic vaults. You won't find another in the condition that I have available. This one is in Choice condition.
What we do know is that these were referenced in their early history and again in medieval history then again in the last century when a 'hoard' of Roman and Byzantine coins was found in areas known to have been historic places of battle for the armies who would have been the recipients of these tokens. 'Hoards' are groups of buried coins and money that groups of soldiers would together agree that it they didn't live, that the other soldiers would make sure that it got to his family. However in the cases (often) when the entire group was killed in battle, the coins and tokens would never be known to have been buried and could survive in these regions for centuries in waterproofed leather satchels to be found only by events such as this when a building project stimulated an archaeological dig when many bones, clothes, weapons and moneys were dug up by the heavy equipment and then more delicately by archaeologists. It is a particularly dry region where, amazingly these terracotta clay tokens survived for over 1400 years! There are a few other sites claiming to have a few of these for a lower price. I cannot emphasize enough that when it comes to something this old (1400+ yrs.)and this delicate and subject to the elements, you will get the quality of token that you pay for.
Canadian customers please note: Free shipping and insurance is included but does not include Duty Tax or Fees incurred for anything other than just shipping. All items must be sent insured.