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Transverse Arms of a Cross with Christ, the Virgin, St. John, and Three Saints

first half of the 11th century
5.8 cm x 18.5 cm (2 5/16 in. x 7 5/16 in.)
silver and gilding

Not on view


Additional Images
Click an image to view a larger version
Additional Image As mounted with BZ.1950.8, BZ.1921.9, and BZ.1921.6
As mounted with BZ.1950.8, BZ.1921.9, and BZ.1921.6
Additional Image Detail of inscription, proper left
Detail of inscription, proper left
Additional Image Detail of inscription, proper right
Detail of inscription, proper right
Additional Image Detail, proper left
Detail, proper left
Additional Image Detail, proper right
Detail, proper right
Additional Image Reverse

This is a large fragment of the encasement in sheet silver and repoussé of a wooden cross. The fragment is consisting of the cross lateral arms and part of the upper arm. In the center, in relief, is part of an inner cross, decorated with an overall pattern of leaves in circles. The head and nimbus of an enthroned Christ appear above the intersection of the arms of this inner cross, and a medallion with wavy border, representing a bust of a saint holding a book, is attached to each end of the cross arm. At the extremities of the entire fragment are two standing figures, facing and stretching their hands toward the inner cross: to the left is the Virgin and to the right is John the Baptist, identified with Greek inscriptions. The outer border consists of beading enclosed in double wave.

Musée des arts décoratifs, Palais du Louvre, Pavillon de Marsan, Exposition internationale d'art byzantin, 28 mai - 9 juillet 1931 (Paris, 1931), no. 439.

M. Ross, Metalwork, Ceramics, Glass, Glyptics, Painting, Catalogue of the Byzantine and Early Mediaeval Antiquities in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection, Vol. I, (Washington, DC, 1962), no. 24, pl. XXII.

Handbook of the Dumbarton Oaks Collection, Harvard University (Washington, DC, 1967), no. 83.

L. Chuskivadze, "Vizantiiski krest iz Matschvarishi," Zograf 15 (1984), 32, fig. 15.

J.-P. Caillet, "La croix byzantine du museé de Cluny," Revue du Louvre 38 (1988), 214, fig. 15a.

J. A. Cotsonis, Byzantine Figural Processional Crosses (Washington, DC, 1994), no. 3, fig. 27.

Lourdes De Sanjose? I Llongueras. Al Servei De L'altar : Tresors D'orfebreria De Les Esgle?sies Catalanes, Segles IX-XIII. Primera Edicio?. ed. Barcelona] : [Vich]: Arxiu I Biblioteca Episcopal De Vic ; Patronat D'Estudis Osonencs, 2018: 283, fig. 254

Exhibition History
Paris, Musée des Arts Decoratifs, "Exposition d'art byzantin," 1931.

Cambridge, Fogg Museum, "A Selection of Ivories, Bronzes, Metalwork and Other Objects from the Dumbarton Oaks Collection," Nov. 15 - Dec. 31, 1945.

Dumbarton Oaks, "Byzantine Figural Processional Crosses," Sept. 23, 1993 - Jan. 29, 1995.

Acquisition History
Found in Syria.

Collection of Henry Daguerre, Paris.

Purchased from Joseph Brummer (Paris and New York).

Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, Dumbarton Oaks.

Harvard University, The Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, November 1940.