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Interesting Greek/Russian Orthodox (or Protestant?) Silver Cross

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mikelv85's loves796 of 24531Early Belgian Union Of Professional Dancers Silver Pendant Thrift Shop Find 25 CENTSInlaid Wooden Box
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    Posted 3 years ago

    Efesgirl
    (1013 items)

    Yes, I have been gone from here yet again - this time, moving my son from his apartment to a new house. Finished that a few days ago, then stood all day Thursday (the 14th) at the local antique and brocante market. Got home, put some stuff away and went to bed...POOPED!
    According to a church secretary at the Orthodox Parish in Maastricht, this is the meaning of the words on the back: "The words on the back mean "save and protect"; they are in Slavonic (old Russian) language,"
    Anyway, I bought this beautiful cross off a woman who came to flog some of her silver. Paid her asking price of 10 Euro. The cross measures 7.5 cm x 4 cm. After making a few more inquiries, I got this email from Tokyo:

    "Hi Bonnie

    Lots of ideas, but all completely subjective I'm afraid.

    I don't know what the inscription on the back says, so the translation you've found probably gives you a better clue than I have.

    First, a few notes on the smaller points:

    The inner cross arms taper slightly, giving emphasis to the centre. Those arms have three grooves, three being the symbol of the Holy Trinity. The cross members are bound together with rope (please see http://www.seiyaku.com/customs/crosses/rope.html) which also form a small diagonal cross (please see http://www.seiyaku.com/customs/crosses/andrew.html), resulting in eight cross arms, eight being the symbol of baptism (please see http://www.seiyaku.com/customs/crosses/baptismal.html).

    The centre of course represents the Sun, a symbol of Christ's glory (please see http://www.seiyaku.com/customs/crosses/glory.html). And if that's a precious stone in the centre, then please see http://www.seiyaku.com/customs/crosses/diamond.html.

    You might be more interested in the floral ends of the main cross arms, and for those I'm not sure. Yes, the petals/leaves are opening, so as you say, it's a budded cross. There's a hint of scallop shell in the leaf shape (please see http://www.seiyaku.com/customs/crosses/compostelan.html) which symbolises pilgrimage, but the artist's intended symbolism could differ. Perhaps your local florist could identify the plant, and from that you could research its symbolism.

    Now for the (to me) interesting bit:

    Not sure whether the holes drilled at the arm ends and base were for attaching something to the back of the piece. However, since there is no hold drilled at the top, I'm guessing that the three holes are to represent the nails used to crucify Jesus (please see http://www.seiyaku.com/customs/crosses/passion.html). If that's the case, then we notice that there are no actual nails and there is no corpus. So this cross represents the situation AFTER the Crucifixion; i.e. it represent that Christ has risen.

    Now that makes the cross less likely to be an Orthodox or Roman Catholic cross (where a corpus is usually present); more likely a Protestant, which started to replace Dutch Catholicism in the 16th century. But I wouldn't take that as any indication of the earliest age of your piece.

    Pretty, full of symbolism, and a real bargain at 10 Euros. Well done!

    Best regards

    Paul Harding
    Tokyo, Japan"

    Does anyone know what kind of flower is represented?

    Thanks for stopping by.
    Bonnie

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    Comments

    1. Newfld Newfld, 3 years ago
      Beautiful antique cross

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