Processional cross

This impressive processional cross is a new addition to a group of crucifixes richly decorated with glass cabochons, covered in engraved and embossed gilt copper, and mounted with a corpus in high relief. Thoby records twenty-six similar examples in his overview of Limoges crosses, including closely related crosses in the cathedral treasures of Sens and Trier, in the Musée de Cluny, and the national museums of Germany, Belgium and Sweden. Several of the crucifixes from the group retain the applied saints on the front and the enamelled plaques with stars on the reverse that are also preserved here. According to Stohlman, the engraved pattern on the copper relates these crosses to the ‘star group’ of enamels, to which a châsse with scenes of Christ’s childhood in the National Museum in Copenhagen and a reliquary with Saint Francis of Assisi in the Louvre also belong. The present cross also stands out for its well preserved corpus with a broad pattern of squares and dots on the perezonium.

Sotheby’s London, 3 December 1997, lot 18;
Marti Mas Tubau, Barcelona;
and thence by family descent, until 2018.
Gallery French, Limoges, second half 13th century
Processional cross
Gilt and champlevé enamelled copper set with glass pastes en cabochon, on a wood core, mounted on a patinated brass stand
40.8 cm.