Orthodox baptismal cross | 24868


  • Russian cross
  • 19th century
  • 5.4 x 3.0 cm | 2.1 x 1.2 in


This Orthodox baptismal cross, known alternately as the Russian, Byzantine, or Slavic cross, is a notable interpretation of the Latin cross and is fashioned from various materials, including bronze, brass, yellow-toned metal, and copper. It is adorned with the depiction of a spear and a hyssop stem. The inscription, “King of Glory, Jesus Christ, Son of God,” emphasizes the divine status of Jesus Christ.

The reverse side of the cross features the scripture verse Psalm 68:1/2: “Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered; And let those who hate Him flee before Him.”

This particular form of the cross in heraldry is unique, boasting two horizontal arms and one sloping one:

The top, smaller cross arm symbolizes the titulus board. This was the board that held the inscription INRI during the crucifixion of Jesus. INRI stands for the Latin phrase “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum,” which translates to “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”

The middle, extended cross arm serves a practical purpose, designed to secure the arms of the individual being crucified.

The lower, slanted cross arm represents the suppedaneum, a supporting platform for the feet of the crucified. This distinctive feature of the Orthodox cross emphasizes the realistic and agonizing detail of crucifixion.

Source: © Ikonen Mautner. Typing errors, other errors or changes reserved.

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Orthodox baptismal cross | 24868
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