Antique/Vintage Ethiopian Coptic Cross, Axum (E325ZLX)


The top of this traditional antique/vintage Ethiopian Cross is circular with pierced cutouts and etched circles enclosing a stylized cross. The circle reflects the Egyptian ankh but was reinterpreted by Copts to symbolize Christ’s halo, divinity, and resurrection. The three arms are decorated with an etched criss-cross matrix on the front and end in stylized rectangles. A stylized Cross Pattée with flaring arms is enclosed in the center.  The necklace chain necklace is not included.



This antique-vintage Ethiopian-Cross pendant from the Ethiopian-Highlands in Africa is a Coptic-Cross variant often referred to as an Axum Cross where it was crafted using the lost wax technique with melted coin-silver and an attached suspension loop.  The circle on the horizontal bar is a variant of older Coptic prototypes in which a circular Egyptian ankh was surmounted on a Latin-Cross. For Egyptians, the ankh represented the sun god and eternal life granted by the gods; to the Copts, it symbolizes a circle that is Christ’s halo, divinity, and God’s everlasting and eternal love through the Sacrifice of His Son. The three arms are decorated with an etched woven matrix on the front and back and end in stylized rectangles representing the Arc of the Covenant which is housed in Axum. The matrix  of interlocking threads in a never-ending-knot, a visualization of many messages about divine intervention and human salvation: the everlasting presence between God and humanity, Christ’s incessant actions for human salvation through his sacrifice, the Church’s flow and order and everlasting life for its followers. The center of the body contains a stylized Cross-Pattée with flaring arms. African-metalwork crosses are also worn to assure blessings, good health, and protection from evil with apotropaic meanings. The impressed circles are “protective eyes” that bring blessings, repel evil forces and harm, deflect misfortune and avert the “evil eye ” while the criss-crossed patterns are believed to entrap evil spirits for eternity in their quest to follow the endless lines. This Christian Cross pendant, a form of African-Art, is part of the Spiritual-and-Inspirational Collection of Christian-Art and Spiritual-Jewelry.

For information and bibliographic citations click here for the blog The Evolution and Brilliance of Ethiopian Crosses



Additional information

Place of Origin

Africa, Horn of Africa


Antique/Vintage (1910-1980)



Materials and Technique

Coin silver/alloy

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 2.5” Width: 1.312”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 6.35cm Width: 3.334cm


.6 oz


Very good, patina and wear consistent with age and use

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size