Antique Altar Cross, France late 19th C Antique Altar Cross, France late 19th C

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This is a beautiful and very rare old altar cross of carved wood.
Its wood mounting and the wood altar cross are in good structural condition.
The altar cross design reminds us of Black Forest style.
This piece came from France.
The cross measures 16″ H and 6″ W and 3-3/4” D.
This cross depicts Christ and the instruments of His Passion.
Also known as the Arma Christi (“Weapons of Christ”).

The Instruments
Depictions of the Instruments of the Passion may include many combinations of those following (though the cross of Jesus is almost always represented). A primary group of the most frequently used instruments can be distinguished:

  • The Cross on which Jesus was crucified
  • The whips, used for the 39 lashes
  • The Holy Sponge set on a reed, with which gall and vinegar were offered to Jesus
  • The Holy Lance with which a Roman soldier inflicted the final of the Five Wounds in his side
  • The Crown of Thorns
  • The ladder used for the Deposition, i.e. the removal of Christ’s body from the cross for burial
  • The hammer used to drive the nails into Jesus’ hands and feet
  • The pincers used to remove the nails

This is a very nice old piece, circa 1880’s or earlier.