Medieval bezel with peacocks


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ITEMBezel with peacocks
CULTUREMedieval, Paleochristian
PERIOD5th – 6th Century A.D
DIMENSIONS200 mm x 440 mm
CONDITIONGood condition, restored on frame
PROVENANCEEx European private collection, acquired between 1975 – 1980

These marble bezels, like their counterparts in other materials, often featured peacocks as a central motif.

Peacocks in Paleochristian art were rich in symbolism. They were associated with Christian themes of immortality, resurrection, and the afterlife due to the belief that the flesh of the peacock did not decay. Therefore, the peacock became a powerful symbol of the victory of Christ over death and the promise of eternal life.

Marble bezels adorned with peacock motifs were commonly used in various Christian contexts during this period. They could be found on the sarcophagi (stone coffins) of Christian burials, where they served as both decorative elements and symbols of hope for the deceased’s resurrection. Additionally, they were used in the decoration of churches and other religious structures, where they reinforced Christian beliefs through visual representation.

These marble bezels were often meticulously carved, showcasing the skill and craftsmanship of the period. They sometimes featured not only peacocks but also other Christian symbols like the chi-rho (☧), the fish symbol (ichthys), or the Good Shepherd. These symbols collectively conveyed the core teachings and beliefs of early Christianity.