Antique Balkan Silver-Plated Copper Military Gorget Greek Or Serbian 18th-19th C
Antique 18th- 19th century Balkan, possibly Greek or Serbian, large, hand-hammered, silver-plated copper, extremely ornated military Gorget (with a rimmed edge), upper loops pierced with holes for a suspension cord.
In the center, the Gorget is bearing a hand-embossed (repousse) in relief and hand-chiseled two-headed eagle flanked by creepers' branches. The eagle holds the scepter in its right claws and the orb in its left claws, which personifies the royal power.
A double-headed eagle as an Imperial coat of arms is associated with the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine). Using it represented the Empire's dominion over the Near East and West. Later this coat of arms was adopted as a state coat of arms by Serbia, Russia, and Austria.
A gorget is a metal neckpiece, lunette, or crescent-shaped, originally steel armor to protect the throat and upper chest.
During the 16th – 17th-century, the Gorget served as an armor chest plate that covered most of the upper chest.
In the mid-seventeenth century, it changed its shape and application until it no longer functioned as protective coverings.
During the late 18th - early 20th century, the Gorget grew smaller and no longer protected the upper chest. Gorget became primarily ornamental, serving as a symbolic accessory to military uniforms and was commonly worn over uniforms or civilian clothing. Some gorgets from this period were "parade" pieces that were beautifully etched, gilded, engraved, chased, embossed, or enameled.
Officers wore crescent-shaped metal gorgets in most European armies as a badge of rank and a sign that they were on duty; chains or ribbons suspended them.
21.5 cm x 19.5 cm. (8.46 inches x 7.68 inches)
CONDITION: Age and use visible, dark patina, a few tiny dings at the edges, slight wear of the silver finish but overall in good condition.