Inscriptions on the back of this object indicate that it served as the repository for a relic believed to be a fragment of the True Cross and that it is thought to have been made for a convent of the Poor Clares, probably in Florence. It is an extraordinary example of Florentine Renaissance metalwork, incorporating within its silver-gilt frame a series of twenty silver plaques with nielloed scenes depicting the Passion of Christ and various saints.
Inscription: Above reliquary window:  LIGNUM CRUCIS; On base:  QUESTA CROC[E] E /DEI[L]E POV / ERE MON / ACHE DI / SANTA CHI / RA [D AVE / RNA ?] (partial trans.: This cross is made for the Poor Sisters of Santa Chiara...); On plaque of The Last Supper:  ABL (cypher of Baccio Baldini)
On cross on central plaque: INRI [Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum (Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews)]
Karl Thewalt (by 1902–1903; his sale, Lempertz, Cologne, November 4–14, 1903, no. 985; sold to Julius Campe); Julius Campe (from 1903) ; J. Pierpont Morgan , London and New York (until 1913; to his son, J. P. Morgan Jr.) ; by descent, J. P. Morgan Jr. (1913–17; to MMA)
Artist: Attributed to workshop of Apollonio di Giovanni di Tomaso (Italian, Florence ca. 1416–1465 Florence)Date: after ca. 1461Medium: Poplar wood, linen, polychromed and gilded gesso with panel painted in tempera and goldAccession: 14.39On view in:Gallery 604