The Metropolitan Museum’s Pectoral Cross with Crystals is adapted from a magnificent jeweled pectoral cross made of gold and amethyst that was once used by Pope Pius XII. The cross was adorned with seven oblong amethysts in a gold setting. Produced in cooperation with the Vatican Library Collection in Rome.
24K gold overlay, with Swarovksi™ crystals. Lobster claw closure. Pendant: 1 1/4''L. Chain: 18''L.
- 24K gold overlay
- Chain: 18''LPendant: 1 1/4''L
- Lobster claw closure
Art HistoryThe pectoral cross, which is often exquisitely crafted, has dual symbolic value: as a cross it symbolizes the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, whereas the jewels and the gold are symbols of the Resurrection. This type of cross typically hangs on a chain or a piece of cord and is worn by prelates and by the pope. The cross is always worn outside the vestment so that it is visible at all times. Normally these crosses were made of gold, often encrusted with gems. Those worn by prelates or by the pontiff have a small compartment at the intersection of the arms that contains a relic of a saint or a small piece of the True Cross.