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Altar Cross

German (Hildesheim)

Not on view

This cross and its base are characteristic of twelfth-century Hildesheim workshops in their form and ornamentation, though the cylindrical piece that connects them, and perhaps the entire arrangement, is much later in date. The base stands on three lion’s paws entwined with tendrils and dragons. The crucifix, held in the mouth of a lion, depicts a weightless, open-eyed Christ. A fifteenth-century inscription on the back mentions relics that were probably kept in a hollow in the figure.

Altar Cross, Copper alloy, cast and engraved, with modern gilding and rock crystal, German (Hildesheim)

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