Partly gilt silver, niello, and copper with traces of gilding, over wood
H. 21 3/4 x W. 12 3/4 in. (55.2 x 32.4 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 500
Inscriptions on the back of this object indicate that it served as the repository for a relic believed to be a fragment of the True Cross and that it is thought to have been made for a convent of the Poor Clares, probably in Florence. It is an extraordinary example of Florentine Renaissance metalwork, incorporating within its silver-gilt frame a series of twenty silver plaques with nielloed scenes depicting the Passion of Christ and various saints.
Inscription: Above reliquary window:  LIGNUM CRUCIS; On base:  QUESTA CROC[E] E /DEI[L]E POV /ERE MON /ACHE DI /SANTA CHI /RA [D AVE /RNA ?] (partial trans.: This cross is made for the Poor Sisters of Santa Chiara...); On plaque of The Last Supper:  ABL (cypher of Baccio Baldini); On cross on central plaque: INRI
Karl Thewalt (by 1902–1903; Thewalt, Karl sale, Lempertz, Cologne, 1903, no. 985; sold to Julius Campe); Julius Campe (from 1903) ; J. Pierpont Morgan , London and New York (until 1913; to his son, J. P. Morgan Jr.) ; by descent, J. P. Morgan Jr. (1913–17; to MMA)
Artist: Attributed to workshop of Apollonio di Giovanni di Tomaso (Italian, Florence ca. 1416–1465 Florence)Date: after ca. 1461Medium: Poplar wood, linen, polychromed and gilded gesso with panel painted in tempera and goldAccession: 14.39On view in:Gallery 604