May 15, 2006
May 15, 2006

Altar Cross

Altar Cross

c. 1300-1310

Gilt copper, champlevé enamel, gemstones, on wood core

Without base: 50.2 x 39.4 cm (19 3/4 x 15 1/2 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1942.1091


This cross is traditionally said to come from the Benedictine Abbey of Meherau on Lake Constance in today’s Austria. During the 12th and 13th centuries the abbey became wealthy through the acquisition of landed property. This beautiful cross would have likely embellished one of the abbey’s many altars where it symbolized Christ’s presence in the Mass.

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