CURIOUS EUROPEAN CROSS NECKLACE, 9th-12th CENTURY
The emergence from the Dark Ages is embodied in the rise to power of the Frankish King, Charlemagne in 768 (founder of the Holy Roman Empire after 800) followed by conquering southern Europe from France to Italy and much of Northern Europe. The condition for peace was acceptance of Christianity, under penalty of death. The conversion was effective and Northern Europeans, primarily Saxons, wore small crosses to affirm their Christianity. This example is just over 7/8” in height, with a cross beam centered, with spherical terminals to the slender beams, and a diamond block at the junction. One side of the block bears a flower bud and the other an X oriented to the 1 4 7 10 positions. The orientation is neither Christ’s cross or the saltire and suggests that the wearer was desecrating the spirit of the cross, while wearing it to comply with the law, which otherwise might cost him his life. Surface textured from burial. Professionally refurbished with the 24karat gold overlay restored. On a gilt Sterling silver neck chain, gift boxed with certificate of authenticity.