c 11th - 12th Century AD Christian Bronze Pectoral Cross




Eastern Roman/Byzantine

11th – 12th century AD

Latin Cross (“Cross Potent” Design)

(120 x 88mm – 4.5 x 3.5”)

This is an extremely large medieval bronze pectoral cross. It was produced about the time of the 1st - 3rd Crusades. The elaborate Latin Cross design is embellished with an inner cruciform design of raised dots. In an exceptional state of preservation with lovely deep glossy patina, and retaining its hanging loop.

A similarly shaped pectoral cross is in the exhibition catalog “Kreuz und Kruzifix”, Freising , Germany (2005, item 1.6.4)

Formerly in a British collection, acquired in the London art market about 1998.

By the 5th and 6th centuries, the cross replaced the Chi-Rho as the standard emblem of Christian religious devotion. It’s meaning transcended that of the simple monogram to visually recall the crucifixion. The cross was worn by individuals from every social stratum, from the elaborate bejeweled golden cross of the patriarch to the simple crosses of the common man. The word crusade, derived from the Latin crux (cross), is a reference to the biblical injunction that Christians carry their cross. Crusaders wore a red cross sewn on their tunics to indicate they had assumed the cross and were soldiers of Christ. Many also wore a pectoral cross around their neck.

  • Inventory# PA-3608