Wood-carved consecration cross

The cross has a metal base and intricate frame, which is embellished with corals and blue and red glass gems. The arms of the cross are supported by dragons left and right. Right and left of the upper arm are medallions crowned by cupolas, while more medallions adorn the vegetal finials of the horizontal arms. The main cross is carved in wood, finely worked, with an openwork architectural background on both sides. The Crucifixion is depicted in the centre of one side and the Baptism on the other. These central depictions are flanked on both sides by Evangelists in openings on the horizontal arms. The spaces on the vertical arm contain scenes from the life of Christ. The Virgin Mary is depicted in the uppermost space on one side, Christ in the corresponding space on the other. The other medallions contain prophets. Consecration crosses of this sort were used in consecration services and acquired sophisticated decoration. One of the largest centres for their production in the Balkans was the monastic community of Mount Athos.

Brouskari M. 2007. Catalogue no. 225, in Skampavias K.—Chatzidakis N. (eds), Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos Museum. Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Art, Athens, 444–445.