Orthodox cross | 24913


  • Russian cross
  • 18th century
  • 6 x 4 cm | 2.4 x 1.6 in


This piece is crafted from materials that include bronze, brass, yellow metal, and copper. It features a cross with a spear and hyssop stem, with the inscription: “King of glory, Jesus Christ, Son of God”. Known as the Russian cross, but also referred to as the “Orthodox cross”, Byzantine cross, or Slavic cross, this specific design is a distinct variation of the Latin cross, represented in heraldry with two horizontal and one slanted cross arm:

The top, shorter cross arm signifies the titulus, the board that displayed the INRI inscription during the crucifixion of Jesus. The acronym stands for the Latin phrase Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum, meaning “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”.

The middle, longer cross arm served the purpose of supporting the arms of the crucified.

The lower, slanted cross arm is symbolic of the suppedaneum, a platform or step that was provided for the feet of those who were crucified.

The piece can be found in: Opdebeeck, Jos – Metalen Ikonen – Blauwdruk van een verzameling, published by Campinia Media vzw in 1997, with the ISBN: 90.356.1088, specifically on page: 138.

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Orthodox cross | 24913
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