Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Reliquary Cross with Christ and the Virgin

Date:
9th–13th century
Culture:
Byzantine
Medium:
Copper alloy
Dimensions:
Overall: 4 7/8 x 2 1/4 x 1/2 in. (12.4 x 5.7 x 1.3 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Copper alloy
Credit Line:
Gift of Estate of Lawrence J. Majewski, 1999
Accession Number:
1999.519.9
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 303
This cross and similar examples are made of two crosses hinged at the bottom, which allowed access to a hollow space meant to hold a relic. The large numbers of surviving copper-alloy reliquary crosses suggest that they were not used solely for relics of the True Cross or other primary relics, such as the bone of a saint; instead they likely contained secondary relics, for instance, a piece of earth from a holy site or a piece of fabric made holy through contact with the body of a saint.
Inscription: Inscribed in Greek: (on obverse) [initials for] Jesus Christ; (on reverse) [initials for] Mother of God
Lawrence J. Majewski, Wappingers Falls, New York (1950s-1999)
Related Objects

Reliquary Cross with Christ Crucified and the Virgin and Child

Date: 9th–12th century Medium: Copper alloy, niello Accession: 26.15 On view in:Gallery 303

Reliquary Cross with Saint George

Date: 800–1300 Medium: Copper alloy Accession: 2000.526.2 On view in:Gallery 303

Base of an Altar Cross with Reading Angels Sitting on Dragons and Standing Church Fathers

Date: ca. 1125–50 Medium: Copper alloy, cast and gilt Accession: 19.106 On view in:Gallery 304

Base for a Cross

Date: 11th century Medium: Copper alloy: leaded medium-tin bronze with a significant trace of zinc Accession: 1993.165 On view in:Gallery 303

Crucifix

Date: 1125–50 Medium: Copper alloy, gilding Accession: 10.134.6a, b On view in:Gallery 304