Orthodox baptismal cross | 24863


  • Russian baptismal cross
  • Bronze
  • 17th century
  • 4.5 x 2.1 cm | 1.8 x 0.8 in


A baptismal cross made of bronze, brass, yellow metal, or copper is presented.

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

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

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

  • The short upper arm represents the titulus board, where the inscription INRI could be read 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 on which the crucified were positioned.

Unfortunately, due to the passage of time and wear, the writing on the cross has heavily faded or been rubbed off.

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 | 24863
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