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Early 20th C. Ethiopian Silvered Bronze Cross Staff

Africa, Ethiopia, ca. early 20th century CE. A breathtaking silvered bronze processional cross with elaborate lattice work and incised figures elements on either side - the Virgin and Child Enthroned on one side, an angel on the other. At the lower end is a flared, conical socket to fit a pole for processional use. A pretty example, replete with an elaborate design, its ornate aesthetic reflecting the richness of Ethiopian Christianity. Size: 6.4" W x 14.7" H (16.3 cm x 37.3 cm)

Ethiopian Christianity is one of the most distinctive traditions of the religion, earlier than much of the rest of Africa thanks to missions from the 1st century until the 4th century, when St. Frumentius of Tyre converted King Ezana. As a result, Ethiopia developed a distinctly African form of Christianity. Geometric designs are characteristic of Ethiopian art, the intertwining lattice style possesses layers of meaning and suggestions of order particular to the culture, symbolizing eternal life and relating to the nature of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Condition: Light patina on surface. Motifs and form are in nice condition.

Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection

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