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RARE ENGLISH MORTUARY CROSS, 14th CENTURY - Fagan Arms (8202605494446)
RARE ENGLISH MORTUARY CROSS, 14th CENTURY - Fagan Arms (8202605494446)
RARE ENGLISH MORTUARY CROSS, 14th CENTURY - Fagan Arms (8202605494446)
RARE ENGLISH MORTUARY CROSS, 14th CENTURY - Fagan Arms (8202605494446)

RARE ENGLISH MORTUARY CROSS, 14th CENTURY

B4699

Regular price $295.00 Sale

Lead, about 1 7/8” height of Jerusalem Cross form with a central skeletal cross with centered cross beam and double cross beam terminals. The center with matching concentric circles. This  example is the most elegant and elaborate known to us. Made for burial with plague victims of the first great plague of 1348-49. Known variously as Pestilence, the Great Mortality, the Great Plague or the Black Death, it was bubonic plague which was brought by sea from France. It killed a quarter of the population of London in two years, creating a shortage of burial space and manpower to perform the burials. Over the centuries, many English churchyards have been cleared of old burials to make space for new (the closer to the church entrance the burial, the greater the chance for eternal happiness) and these crosses are occasionally encountered. See the attached images from the Science Museum, London and four related examples of 1348, from Grey Friars Monastery, Newgate Street, London (Wellcome Library, London).