The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
This object is currently being catalogued
  • Pendant cross
  • This object is currently being catalogued
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Spain
  • 17th century
  • Gold, enamel, tortoise-shell and mother-of-pearl, enamelled
  • W125
  • Smoking Room
Commentary
Images & Media
  • On the front and back of this pendant, alongside the figure of Christ crucified on the cross, are the instruments of the Passion. This is a collective term for a group of objects said to have been used in, or mentioned during, accounts of Christ's torture and death. These would remind the wearer of the stages of the Passion and of Christ's suffering.

    On the front, below Christ, is a shirt, symbolising the seamless robe that Christ wore before his death. Above Christ's head 'INRI' is inscribed on a plaque. This is an abbreviation of the mocking Latin term 'Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum', which means 'Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews'.

    In the centre of the reverse is the crown of thorns. To the left of this is the sponge that was soaked in vinegar and offered to Christ to drink from on the cross. To the right of the centre is the chalice used by Christ at the Last Supper, probably intended here also to represent the Eucharist. At the base of the cross is the pillar, to which Christ was tied and flogged. On top of this is the rooster, which crowed at Peter's third denial of Christ.