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Altar Cross
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Altar Cross

Description Provenance Inscription Credit
Description This cross would have been placed on the altar and used by priests for blessing the faithful. Its woodcarved center depicts the Crucifixion on one side and Christ's Baptism on the other. The top and bottom arms contain images of the four evangelists. The Crucifixion is flanked by Saints Constantine and Helen (the mother of Emperor Constantine is believed to have discovered in 326 the True Cross near Jerusalem). Beside the Baptism are two unidentified saints. With the small domes and crosses on its top, the frame resembles a church building. An inscription round the base explains that the cross was presented as a gift to a church dedicated to Saint Nicholas.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore, [date of acquisition unknown] by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Transcription] Around the base: + Ἐκοσμίθι ὄθις σταβρὸς δι᾿ ἐξόδου Καταφίγις μοναχῆς κὲ ἴνε τοῦ Ἁγίου Νικολάου τοῦ Θαματοίργου. 1730 [+ Ἐκοσμήθη οὕτος σταυρὸς δι᾿ ἐξόδου Καταφύγης μοναχῆς καὶ εἶναι τοῦ Ἁγίου Νικολάου τοῦ Θαυματούργου. 1730]; [Translation]: This cross was decorated at the expense of the nun Kataphyge and belongs to [the Church of] Saint Nicholas the Miracle-Worker, 1730.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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1730 (Early Modern)
boxwood, silver, enamel
Accession Number
H: 8 1/8 x W: 4 in. (20.7 x 10.1 cm)


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