The Prince and the Plunder

A book on how Britain took one boy and piles of treasures from Ethiopia

Processional cross

Published / by Andrew Heavens / Leave a Comment

What: A processional cross, given by Secretary of State for India, Sir Stafford Henry Northcote

Where: The British Museum, Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG

Provenance: Maqdala referenced at length in the museum’s acquisition notes.

The catalogue entry reads:

“Processional cross cast from bronze in two parts; cross and hollow shaft with lower arms. The tapering shaft has a deep vertical slot into which the body of the cross sits, secured in place with two iron nails. Extending out from the shaft are lyre shaped lower arms with two slotted extensions on the upper edge which support the body of the cross. The body of the cross has a central patée cross with flared arms set within a quatrefoil. Separating the cross from the quatrefoil are four motifs resembling crossed double lancet windows. Around the edge of the Quatrefoil are seven pateé crosses with flared arms which join to form squares with ovoid cut outs known as dove’s eyes. These are surmounted alternately with single and trefoil rings. Between the patée crosses are six crosses formed by four rings. The outline of the quatrefoil and crosses are engraved with linear designs.”

Exhibition history Exhibited:2006-2007 16 Nov- 11 Feb, BM Room 35; The Past from Above: Through the lens of Georg Gerster

Museum number Af1868,1230.8
Date: 18thC
Acquisition name: Sir Stafford Henry Northcote, 1st Earl of Iddesleigh

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