Processional crosses were widely used in the Middle Byzantine period (843-1261) in imperial ceremonies, military campaigns and liturgical processions. The two major known types were either decorated bronze crosses such as the present lot, or iron crosses covered in elaborately repoussée silver and gold sheets. The present lot is very similar in form to the two silver- and gold- covered iron crosses in the Metropolitan Museum, New York and the Musée National du Moyen Âge et des Thermes de l'Hôtel de Cluny, Paris (Evans & Wixom, loc. cit. respectively). All three crosses are formed by a central medallion to which are attached four flaring arms - the Cluny example and the present lot also have the same lobed finials. Due to its facture in bronze as opposed to a precious metal, it is possible that this cross was used within the context of a military campaign as well as in a religious procession. In both instances it would have been used in the front line as a symbol of the victory of Christ over death.