Large Silver Coptic Cross Ethiopia
A large silver processional Coptic cross with intricate designs. The cross is one of the most recognizable symbols across the world and this particular one is evidence of Christianity in Ethiopia. As a central religious motif, the cross was made as a single piece or was associated with other visual arts.
Individual crosses such as this are cast or carved in different styles, designs, and sizes. These are hand cut from various metals: silver, iron, gold, and brass and cast using the lost wax method. Ethiopian crosses are also made out of wood. Designs are as varied as the regions and crosses are generally named after towns or provinces where they are made. The use of these crosses is essentially religious. Small crosses are worn by men and women as pectoral or neck pendants. For more than 1600 years, Ethiopians have worn neck crosses. Most often, they are given at baptism and are worn as badges or symbols of their faith. Large crosses such as this were used in church processions by priests during religious ceremonies. They were also held by pilgrims during processions.
This cross is made out of silver alloy. The hollow round base on this cross was used to mount the cross on a wooden pole in order to easily carry the cross during procession or to display it on altars. The intricate designs on this cross differ from side to side. This cross is of coptic style for its flared arms.
Approximate Age: probably 20th Century