Lot 117: Antique Ethiopian Silver Cross - 2.75"H

Artemis Gallery

November 7, 2016
Louisville, CO, US

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Description: Africa, Ethiopia, Dessie region, ca. 19th century CE. A lovely silver neck cross from the Dessie region of Ethiopia, with openwork of a flat, "woven" design. Neck crosses like this example have been created in Ethiopia for centuries, as Ethiopians of Dessie have practiced Christianity since the 1st century CE. Originally these pendants were made of local materials such as wood, bone, carved stones, and leather, but by the 19th century silver was a favored medium in rural Ethiopia. Cruder examples were merely cut from large coins such as the Maria Theresa Thaler dollar or the Emperor Menelik dollar. More often, silver coins were melted down so that a neck cross could be cast via the lost wax technique. This silver neck cross was created in this way and is a fabulous example of a design associated with the Dessie region of Ethiopia. Weight: 15.2 g Size: 2.75" H x 1.5" W (7 cm x 3.8 cm)

Provenance: Ex-Historia Gallery, James Caswell, Santa Monica, CA.

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Condition Report: Intact with expected bit of tarnish and minor bending to suspension loop. Overall quite excellent.
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