Cross thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Cross

1600-1860 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Before the revolution of 1917, almost all Orthodox Russians wore pendent crosses. Most are made of cast silver, and they are very difficult to date accurately, as the same designs were used unchanged for centuries.

This cross is very primitive in appearance, with its core of imitation agate set in gilt metal mounts. It was described as 17th century when it was acquired in 1866, and may date from that period, but may also have been made in the 19th century. It hangs from a square bead with a stylised image of the face of Christ on the front, which is often used with Russian Orthodox pendants. The image, called the Vernicle, is derived from a miraculous portrait which is said to have appeared on the Veil of Veronica after she wiped Christ's face with it on the road to Calvary. It would originally have been worn on a long filigree chain.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Glass mounted in metal double-plated with gilding over silver
Brief Description
Cross of blue glass, marbled like agate, with metal mounts double-plated in gilded silver, Russia, 1600-1700 or 1800-1860.
Physical Description
Rectangular cross of blue glass, marbled to look like agate, with the ends encased in square metal mounts which are doubly plated with gold over silver. There is a ring attached to each of the vertical sides of each mount, and there is a small pyramid of granules on each of the ends. The cross is hinged to a square bead with truncated corners with a highly stylised engraved face of Christ (the Vernicle) on its front, with identifying Cyrillic characters above it. There is a small pyramid of granules on the top face of the bead.
Dimensions
  • Height: 6.3cm
  • Width: 3.5cm
  • Depth: 0.9cm
Subjects depicted
Summary
Before the revolution of 1917, almost all Orthodox Russians wore pendent crosses. Most are made of cast silver, and they are very difficult to date accurately, as the same designs were used unchanged for centuries.



This cross is very primitive in appearance, with its core of imitation agate set in gilt metal mounts. It was described as 17th century when it was acquired in 1866, and may date from that period, but may also have been made in the 19th century. It hangs from a square bead with a stylised image of the face of Christ on the front, which is often used with Russian Orthodox pendants. The image, called the Vernicle, is derived from a miraculous portrait which is said to have appeared on the Veil of Veronica after she wiped Christ's face with it on the road to Calvary. It would originally have been worn on a long filigree chain.
Collection
Accession Number
102-1866

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record createdSeptember 23, 2005
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