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Processional cross

Processional cross

  • Museum number:

    477-1899

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Processional cross, copper-gilt with champlevé enamel on a wooden core, with applied silver and parcel-gilt figure of Christ. The enamelled quatrefoils depict, clockwise from top: St John the Evangelist (with his attribute of an eagle); St John the Apostle (who mourned with Mary at the base of the Cross), St Mark (with his attribute of a winged lion) and Christ's mother, the Virgin Mary. The central quatrefoil depicts a lamb with a halo on an altar table, symbolic of St John the Baptist (whose execution by Herod prefigures Christ's sacrifice on the Cross).
In 1914 this cross was joined to an unrelated base for a crucifix, bronze silvered and gilded, engraved with an inscription dated 1539. The two parts are now separate.

Dimensions

Height: 52.5 cm crucifix, Width: 28 cm, Depth: 4.5 cm maximum, Width: 27.9 cm crucifix, Height: 14.7 cm base, Width: 23.5 cm base

Object history note

Nothing is known of the early history of the cross, its patron or maker. There is no clue on the front of the cross and the enamelled plaques which might have provided some of this information on the reverse are completely missing. The Museum purchased the cross for £50 at the same auction where they also secured the stand for £200.

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

Campbell, Marian. L'oreficeria italiana nell'Inghilterra medievale: con una nota sugli smalti medievali italiani del Victoria and Albert Museum.In: Oreficerie e smalti traslucidi nei Secoli XIV e XV, Supplement to Bollettino d'Arte, 1987, vol. 43, pp.
Devotion by Design: Italian Altarpieces before 1500. London: National Gallery Company, 2011. p. 126.

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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