European Cross Necklace, 9th-10th Century
Silvered bronze, just over 1" height plus the suspension loop. Slender cylindrical beams with ball and nub terminals. The cross beam centered. The junction with a raised edge diamond enclosing a figure each side. The figure of indistinct identity, probably as made, perhaps in deliberate ambiguity during the time of conversion. Excellent with a silver overlay and mounted on a Sterling silver neck chain for contemporary wear. Saxons were late to accept Christianity and did so only after their defeat by Charlemagne in the late 8th century.Charlemangne 's 782 Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae prescribed laws for Saxons which included being baptized. Failure to do so was punishable by death. “If any one of the race of the Saxons hereafter concealed among them shall have wished to hide himself unbaptized, and shall have scorned to come to baptism and shall have wished to remain a pagan, let him be punished by death". It's likely that these crosses were worn as an indication of that acceptance and by extension, submission to Carolingian rule.