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Hand Cross
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Hand Cross

Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Ethiopian metal hand crosses are typically constructed from silver, brass, or iron that has been hammered into shape rather than cast using the lost-wax method. These objects draw their formal inspiration from processional crosses, and their creators often imitated styles that had been developed at great religious centers such as Lalibala. The formal relationship of the pierced hand cross to lattice work processional crosses is evident in the drilled holes of its body, an attempt to imitate the form of larger objects. Although their reliance on pre-existing models makes hand crosses difficult to date, these objects were an important means of transmitting local styles, particularly as they were designed to be portable.
  • Angels of Light: Ethiopian Art from the Walters Art Museum. Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton; Museum of Biblical Art, New York. 2006-2007.
Provenance Knopfelmacher Collection [1925-2010], New York [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; William Wright Gallery, New York; Nooter Collection, 1990; Walters Art Museum, 1997, by gift.
Credit Gift of Nancy and Robert Nooter, 1997

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13th-15th century (Solomonic)
hammered iron
Accession Number
H: 3 3/8 x W: 3 x D: 5/16 in. (34 x 7.6 x 0.8 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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