Mystery cross

(Puzzle 033)

What can you tell us about this cross?

Unknown cross

mystery cross

We know very little about this cross, and its Finnish owner would be most interested to find our more.

We do know it is made from a yellow metal and is about 40 cm long. It was found amongst the belongings of somebody who died in 1982 but we do not know if the cross was made and/or used in Scandinavia. The deceased was not known to be particularly religious.

mystery cross
Back top

mystery cross
Back bottom

mystery cross
Front top

mystery cross
Front bottom

We are assuming this is a hand-held cross, rather than a wall-hanging cross, because it is covered with images on both side. Click any of the images shown on the right for closer detail.

What do the figures represent? On the reverse of the Crucifixion scene, is that St. George despatching the dragon? Are those saints with the angelic wings and crowns? Does the presence of the Madonna and Child at the base suggest Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, rather than the predominant Lutheranism of the region?

The base of the cross is also rather curious. The Madonna and Child are within a halo, which is central to a pattern similar to the Lutheran Rose - though it is unlikely to be that, since the Lutheran Rose almost invariably has five petals. So we assume it represents the Rose of Sharon to complement the Marian image.

Is there any special reason for those petals to be voided like four bottle openers? Could those loops be used for tying ribbons? Or for attaching to a cingulum (girdle or belt)?

And at this point, you'll realise that we're still at the brainstorming stage.

If you have any suggestions, please email us with your thoughts.

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