Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Processional cross

Processional cross

  • Place of origin:

    Spain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1550 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    wrought iron, embossed, painted and gilt

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr. W.L. Hildburgh F.S.A.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Wrought iron processional cross, embossed painted and gilt. The cross itself is made up of four vase-shaped limbs surrounding a central medallion. Christ crucified hangs in the centre surrounded by depictions of a ram's head and two helmets on the limbs of the cross. On the reverse, the central medallion shows God the Father raising his hand in blessing. The points of the cross from north to west depict armour, a face, a skull and a ram's head. Another medallion, which on the front and reverse shows a bearded man in a turban, joins the cross with the knop. The knop is drum-shaped and decorated with skulls, grotesque monsters, foliage and arabesques.

Traces of original paintwork can be seen on the cross. The figure of Christ shows flesh coloured tones, whilst there are traces of red and green around the central medallion on the front and on the lower medallion on the reverse.

The cross appears to be almost a replica in iron of a silver example of the same period.

Place of Origin

Spain (made)


ca. 1550 (made)



Materials and Techniques

wrought iron, embossed, painted and gilt

Object history note

Given by Dr. W.L Hildburgh in 1940.

Historical context note

This object is one of many gifts given to the museum by Dr. W.L Hildburgh. In particular, his gifts (and later bequest) supplied the metalwork collection with many outstanding examples of Spanish and Portuguese silver. This cross though made in iron, is in a style typical of Spanish goldsmiths' work.

Descriptive line

Processional Cross, wrought iron, embossed, painted and gilt

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Campbell, Marian, Decorative Ironwork, V&A publications, 1997, p.121




Embossed; Painted; Gilt

Subjects depicted

Body armour; Helmet; Foliage; Skull; Grotesque; Arabesques; Ram


Metalwork; Christianity; Religion


Metalwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.