Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pectoral Crosses

I like my pectoral crosses baroque and blingy and I present you some of the most beautiful I've seen so far:

This very lovely and ornate piece belonged to the Elector Clemens August of Cologne (1700 - 1761, made Elector in 1723). The cross was manufactured in Vienna around the year 1740. I think that the archbishops of Cologne still use it on very solemn occasions.

A pectoral cross belonging to the archbishops of Palermo/Sicily. Since it has sapphires, it was probably made for a cardinal, which would put its date of manufacturing sometime after 1839, when Ferdinando Maria Pignatelli, archbishop of Palermo, was created cardinal. There were two cardinals from Palermo before that year, but Domenico Pignatelli di Belmonte only was a cardinal for half a year (August 1802 - February 1803) before he died, and Gaetano Maria Trigona e Parisi, created cardinal in 1834, died before receiving the red hat and the title.

Can't say much about this beauty, apart from that it was made for one of the prince-bishops of Bressanone (Bolzano) and therefore was made before 1802, when the prince-bishopric was secularized.

This stunning piece was a gift of Empress Maria Theresia to the prince-abbot Martin II. Gerbert of St. Blasien, Germany, who reigned from 1764 to 1793. I love the eagle!

Since amethysts are my favorite stones, this is one of my all-time favorite pectoral-crosses. It belonged to the monastery of St. Blasien as well, but I am not sure about its history.

As for this beauty: I have no clue. Maybe a reader might help?


Gregor said...

Great pictures!
Of course, when there were prince-bishops of "Bressanone", it was called "Brixen" (the German name), as it is called even today by 73 % of its inhabitants.

leo said...

Thanks and you're right: Brixen it is!

Congratulations BTW for being the first reader to comment on the new "Far Sight". I finally don't feel like I'm all alone here...

Anonymous said...

Don't these seem utterly feminine? I might be the only one...

leo said...

It depends on how your perception of these things was shaped culturally.

Plus: These crosses were not worn with jeans and leather jackets, but with silk and lace (and with what modern man refers to as "dresses"), so they blend in just nicely ;-)

AJ Garcia said...

Greetings Leo!

First, thank you for posting an article about Bishop Versiglia with the photos.

Oh, by the way I think I can help you with your final Pectoral Cross.

This stunning Cross made out of gold with winged cherubs, florets, and Aquamarines was given by His Holiness Pope Leo XIII to a promising prelate in 1980 when he made him a Cardinal. The promising new Cardinals' name was Guissepe Sarto who we all know was very promising (and more!).. He was elected Pope in 1903 and took the name Pio X. Pio decimo continued to wear this beautiful gift throughout his pontificate.

Hope this helps Leo...

Vivere in Pace!