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Reliquary Cross

German (Hildesheim)

Not on view

Henry the Lion (ca. 1130–1195), duke of Saxony and Bavaria, was believed to have presented a relic of the True Cross, framed at the center of this cross, to the Church of the Holy Cross in Hildesheim. No evidence supports that legend, but the importance of the relic enshrined here is not in doubt. It is proclaimed by the cross’s profusion of jewels and its array of goldsmiths’ techniques, including filigree and delicately hammered leaf patterns.

Reliquary Cross, Gilded silver, rock crystal, semiprecious stones, and ancient intaglios; wood core, German (Hildesheim)

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