Processional Cross, 15th century
Ethiopia; Amharic peoples
Copper; H. 10 1/4 in. (26 cm), W. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm)
Purchase, Dr. and Mrs. Sidney Clyman Gift, 2007 (2008.22)
Metal processional crosses have historically been cast through the lost-wax process, ensuring that each work is by definition a unique and original creation. Over the centuries, the inventiveness of Ethiopian metal casters in their representation of this central motif has known no bounds. In this example, a central lozenge is framed by a series of three concentric circles. Projecting from the summit and sides of the outermost band's perimeter are crosses that suggest buds of vegetation.