Antique Continental Silver Processional Cross

GBP 12,500.00

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Object Description

A rare early silver processional cross. The embossed silver has applied plaques to the front and reverse and a “corpus” (figural image of Christ’s body). Bright parcel gilt finish. Bronze terminals enhance the ornate form of the cross. Height 48.5cm including the metal rod support, 40.5cm without. Width 29cm. Unmarked. Probably Italian circa 1600.

Signed – The cross was submitted for expert opinion to a major London auction house where it was shown to various specialists in the fields of Silver, Works of Art and Metalwork. An extract from the inspection report states “Our opinion, based on the current stage of research, is that the core probably dates to circa 1600. The Appliques and Corpus are likely to date to around this date or just before, but are associated. The crucifix may have been embellished with the bronze terminals, probably in the 17th century. Our opinion is subject to further research”.

Object Literature

A processional cross is a cross or crucifix carried in Christian processions. These crosses have a long history for example, when Pope Gregory the Great sent the Gregorian mission (of Saint Augustine of Canterbury) to England to convert Britain’s Anglo Saxons in 595, a processional cross was carried before them “like a standard”. It is suggested that all churches were expected to possess one. The cross was detachable from the staff and the earliest altar crosses were processional crosses placed on a stand at the end of the procession.

Object Condition

The cross displays signs of wear (including tiny dents, splits and tears). A notable fault is the earlier repair across the central section where the horizontal arms meet the upper vertical part (see photos) – lead solder can be seen and there are small fragments of silver missing. There is one bronze terminal missing.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)207 288 1939
+44 (0)7904 297419

Dealer Location

Vault 31-32
The London Silver Vaults
53-64 Chancery Lane
London WC2A 1QS

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