Orthodox baptismal cross | 24859



Russian cross

4.0 x 1.8 cm | 1.6 x 0.7 in

18th century


An Orthodox baptismal cross made of bronze, brass, yellow metal, or copper is showcased.

The cross is adorned with a spear and a hyssop stem, while the inscription reads, “King of glory, Jesus Christ, Son of God.”

On the reverse side, it is likely that Psalm 68:1/2 is engraved, which states, “Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered; And let those who hate Him flee before Him.”

The Russian cross, also known as the Orthodox cross, Byzantine cross, or Slavic cross, is a distinct variant of the Latin cross in heraldry. It features two horizontal arms and one inclined arm:

  • The short top arm represents the titulus board, upon which the inscription INRI was displayed during Jesus’ crucifixion. INRI stands for the Latin phrase “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum,” meaning “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”
  • The longer middle arm was designed to accommodate the arms of a crucified person.
  • The lower inclined arm symbolizes the suppedaneum, a supporting footplate, footstep, or footstool upon which the crucified were placed.

Regrettably, the writing on the cross has been heavily rubbed off due to time and wear.

This Orthodox baptismal cross can be found in the book “Metalen Ikonen – Blauwdruk van een verzameling” by Jos Opdebeeck, published by Campinia Media vzw in 1997. It is featured on page 136. The ISBN of the book is 90.356.1088.

Source: © Ikonen Mautner. Typing errors, other errors or changes reserved. For more information: “Das Synaxarion. Die Leben der Heiligen der Orthodoxen Kirche.” (http://www.prodromos-verlag.de/buecher.html) and Joachim Schäfer: Das Ökumenische Heiligenlexikon – https://www.heiligenlexikon.de

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Orthodox baptismal cross | 24859
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