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Altar cross: MAR.M.65-1912

An image of Altar cross

Photograph copyright © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

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Object information

Maker(s)

Unknown (Maker)

Description

Silver, parcel-gilt, niello, wood and enamel; the wood cross is attached to a silver-gilt foot from a chalice, both parts are set with nielloed silver plaques.

Silver, parcel-gilt, niello, wood and enamel. The wood cross is attached to a silver-gilt foot from a chalice, both parts are set with silver and niello plaques. The cross retains small fragments of paint, which are predominantly red. The quatrefoil plaques on the cross illustrate the early life and Passion of Christ and include, on the front, the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Adoration of the Kings, the Circumcision, and Christ among the Doctors; on the back are the Crucifixion, the Angel offering Christ a chalice in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Mockery of Christ, the Resurrection, and the Flagellation of Christ. At the intersection of the cross are two smaller circular plaques with, on the front, the head of the Virgin Mary, and on the back, the head of Christ. The three circular plaques on the foot represent the Virgin and Child, St Sebastian and an unidentified saint holding a palm (for martyrdom) and a banner. Silver-gilt cylinders cover the wood at the corners of the cross, and matching silver-gilt small floral bosses are appplied to the body of the cross. (Some of the bosses are missing and there are several larger holes suggesting further bosses or jewels were once applied to the crucifix.) The domed foot has a large knop set with six circular silver and niello plaques engraved with a four petalled flower. The shaped circular spreading base is embossed and chased with two urns and scrolling foliage on a matted ground and has a rim of twelve alternating semicircular and pointed lobes.

Legal notes

C.B. Marlay Bequest

Measurements and weight

12¼
31.2
14.9
5⅞

At the moment, this record does not display units or type of measurements. We will rectify this as soon as possible.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1912-06-18) by Marlay, Charles Brinsley

Dating

15th century
Circa 1400 - 1500 1500

Note

There are no maker's or town marks

School or Style

Renaissance

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Cross: composed of wood Cross Surface: composed of paint Base Surface: composed of gold Base: composed of silver Plaques: composed of silver Plaque Surface: composed of niello Decoration: Foot:

Identification numbers

Accession number: MAR.M.65-1912
Primary reference Number: 160261
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 26 January 2021 Last processed: Friday 21 May 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2020) "Altar cross" Web page available at: https://collection.beta.fitz.ms/id/object/160261 Accessed: 2021-11-27 13:46:07

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url=https://collection.beta.fitz.ms/id/object/160261|title=Altar cross|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2021-11-27 13:46:07|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

<div class="text-center my-3"> <figure class="figure"> <img src="https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/imagestore/aa/aa20/MAR_M_65_1912_20_282_29.jpg" alt="altar cross" class="img-fluid" /> <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">altar cross</figcaption> </figure> </div>

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