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Altar Cross

A work made of silver gilt over a wooden core; foot: copper gilt.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of silver gilt over a wooden core; foot: copper gilt.


c. 1325; foot: 15th century


German, probably Brunswick (Braunschweig)

About this artwork

This silver-gilt cross with the figure of the crucified Christ was meant to be placed on an altar. Each arm of the cross terminates with a roundel containing the symbols of the four Evangelists: the angel for Saint Matthew, the lion for Saint Mark, the ox for Saint Luke, and the eagle for Saint John the Evangelist. These four images were cast from the same molds used for the Evangelist symbols that decorate a silver book cover made for a liturgical manuscript written in 1326, now housed in the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Berlin. This reuse of molds provides valuable insight into workshop practices under the patronage of Otto the Mild, Duke of Saxony (r. 1318–46).


On View, Gallery 236


Applied Arts of Europe


Altar Cross


Brunswick (Object found in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Silver gilt over a wooden core; foot: copper gilt


H.: 19.7 cm (7 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of the Antiquarian Society

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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