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Christian Crucifixes

Christian crucifixes, usually sculpted depictions of Jesus on the cross, have long been an important feature of Christian art. Although they are sometimes seen in Eastern Orthodox, Methodist, and Lutheran churches, they are most frequently used in Catholic churches and cathedrals as well as within homes for private worship.

Christians started using crucifixes during the 5th century A.D., with the earliest examples originating in Italy. During this time, monumental crucifixes were sculpted and decorated for liturgical use within churches and small, portable crucifixes were made for individual prayer. In both public and private settings, crucifixes encourage viewers to reflect upon the suffering of Christ and his ultimate sacrifice for humankind.

The iconography for crucifixes was originally drawn from Byzantine icons, which depicted Christ with an erect body and head and opened eyes. However, with the emergence of the Monophysite heresy during the 7th century A.D., people began to deny the human nature of Jesus. As a response to this claim, artists began portraying Christ with a limp body and closed eyes, emphasizing his mortality and death on the cross. Today, an incredible variety of crucifixes made of wood, metal, ivory, gold, silver, and other precious materials are available for Christians and collectors of religious art.


Quick Facts

  • On November 16, 2011, Christie’s Paris sold a carved ivory book binding representing the crucifixion for $776,560
  • On March 5, 2008, Christie’s Paris sold a procession crucifix of copper and gold glass c. 1200 for $95,178
  • Before the crucifixion of Christ, cross symbols were used in various regions of the ancient World. In Egypt, for example, the ankh represented the key of life

Recommended Items at Auction

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Superb Early Relic Cross With 3 Important Relics Encased
Feb 24, 12:00 PM EST
Superb Early Relic Cross With 3 Important Relics Encased
by RB Fine Arts
Est: $450- $850
$1,15021 Bids
EARLY IRON PROCESSIONAL CRUCIFIX
Feb 24, 11:00 AM EST
EARLY IRON PROCESSIONAL CRUCIFIX
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $800- $1,200
$5005 Bids
40 inch Jesus on Wood Cross
Feb 25, 9:00 AM MST
40 inch Jesus on Wood Cross
by R & R Auction INC
Est: $0- $0
$253 Bids
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Pavlovsky pectoral silver cross, Павловский наперсный крест, 1797
Feb 25, 11:00 AM EST
Pavlovsky pectoral silver cross, Павловский наперсный крест, 1797
by Eternity Gallery
Est: $10,000- $20,000
$2,0001 Bid
A wooden Crucifix with rounds of mother of pearl
Feb 27, 10:00 AM CET
A wooden Crucifix with rounds of mother of pearl
by Ostantix Auctions
Est: €70- €90
€501 Bid
AN ARTS AND CRAFTS CAST SHEET IRON CRUCIFIX formed with floral motifs. 45 cm x 27 cm.
Feb 27, 10:00 AM GMT
AN ARTS AND CRAFTS CAST SHEET IRON CRUCIFIX formed with floral motifs. 45 cm x 27 cm.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £50- £75
£41 Bid
Large Signed Bronze Wall Mount Jesus on Cross
Feb 24, 2:00 PM EST
Large Signed Bronze Wall Mount Jesus on Cross
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $600- $800
$5500 Bids
Modern Pressed Glass Crucifix Cross
Mar 02, 2:00 PM EST
Modern Pressed Glass Crucifix Cross
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $40- $80
$300 Bids
Carved Wood Grapevine Cross
Mar 02, 2:00 PM EST
Carved Wood Grapevine Cross
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $200- $400
$1500 Bids
ANTIQUE CROSS
Mar 08, 10:30 AM EST
ANTIQUE CROSS
by Carroll's Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $90- $370
$150 Bids
VINTAGE CROSS
Mar 08, 10:30 AM EST
VINTAGE CROSS
by Carroll's Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $70- $270
$100 Bids
Two Wood Crucifixes and a Carved Mary Figure.
Feb 24, 10:30 AM PST
Two Wood Crucifixes and a Carved Mary Figure.
by Turner Auctions + Appraisals
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
ITALIAN SILVER EMBOSSED RELIEF JESUS ON THE CRUCIFIX
Mar 10, 10:00 AM PST
ITALIAN SILVER EMBOSSED RELIEF JESUS ON THE CRUCIFIX
by Taylor & Harris
Est: $400- $500
$3500 Bids
SUPREME ORDER OF CHRIST
Feb 25, 2:00 PM CET
SUPREME ORDER OF CHRIST
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €5,000- €7,500
€3,0000 Bids
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Archaic Christian cast bronze cross, Kievan Rus, 900-1200 AD
Feb 25, 11:00 AM EST
Archaic Christian cast bronze cross, Kievan Rus, 900-1200 AD
by Eternity Gallery
Est: $800- $1,600
$2000 Bids
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Genuine Russian bronze cross with blue enamel, 18th century
Feb 25, 11:00 AM EST
Genuine Russian bronze cross with blue enamel, 18th century
by Eternity Gallery
Est: $2,000- $4,000
$8000 Bids
"Christ on the cross", Spain, early 20th century
Mar 04, 5:00 PM CET
"Christ on the cross", Spain, early 20th century
by Ansorena
Est: €225- €300
€1500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Christian Crucifixes


Setdart Auction House

Setdart Auction House

Aste Boetto SRL

Aste Boetto SRL

Eternity Gallery

Eternity Gallery

Ansorena

Ansorena