Orthodox baptismal cross | 24935


  • Russian cross
  • 18th century
  • 35 x 17.5 cm | 13.8 x 6.9 in


This religious artifact is a cross crafted from bronze, brass, and a yellow-hued metal, further adorned with multicolored enamel detailing.

The cross is topped with representations of God the Father and the Holy Spirit, flanked by two angels. In the middle section, there’s a depiction of Christ crucified, with the sun and moon present, symbolizing the entire cosmic order. To the left of the Crucifixion scene, we find the Holy Lance that wounded Jesus at his side, and to the right, there’s a pole bearing a sponge soaked in vinegar, held aloft by a stalk of hyssop.

At the base of the cross, we see representations of Jerusalem’s city walls, the hill of Golgotha, and the skull of Adam, providing a profound visual narrative of the Passion of Christ.

On the reverse side of the cross, a pattern of floral motifs is intricately carved.

The design of this cross is particularly notable as it adheres to the style of the Russian Cross, also known as the “Orthodox Cross” or “Byzantine Cross”. This style is characterized by two horizontal bars and one slanted bar: the shorter top bar symbolizes the titulus, the board bearing the INRI inscription at the time of Jesus’s crucifixion; the longer middle bar represents the beam to which the crucified individual’s arms were affixed; the bottom slanted bar stands for the suppedaneum, the footrest or foot support utilized during crucifixions.

Inscribed along the lengthier cross bar is the poignant phrase: “We venerate your cross, Lord, and we praise your Holy Resurrection”. This text serves as a constant reminder of the reverence and praise directed towards the Lord’s sacrificial act and subsequent resurrection.

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 | 24935
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