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Pectoral Reliquary Cross

17th century

Workshops of the Moscow Kremlin

Gold, silver, filigree, enamel and niello

H 15.9 cm, w 10.6 cm

Moscow

Pectoral crosses were worn on the chest over robes, and could, as in this case, also be used as a reliquary (a container for sacred relics). On the front is a chased image of the Crucifixion, and on the reverse an engraved inscription lists the holy relics deposited in the cross. The top of the cross is decorated with a depiction of the Saviour Not Made With Hands and a plant motif worked in niello. This gold cross, decorated with bright enamel, was made in the workshops of the Kremlin and belonged, according to legend, to Patriarch Filaret Nikitich Romanov.

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