Antique Ethiopian Coptic Crucifix (E334NCK)


The antique Coptic Ethiopian Cross is unique as it is in crucifix form with an image of Christ, rarely used in the Coptic tradition. This delicate yet powerful pendant  reflects the mastery of the skilled craftsman who created it. Using the lost wax process, it was embellished afterward with the Christ figure and the decorated arm ornaments, making it a wonderful one-of-a-kind, pendant with a warm patina and signs of wear consistent with age and use. The necklace chain necklace is not included.



No other region has produced the quantity, quality, and diversity as the crosses from the Ethiopian-Highlands in Africa. The uniqueness of the Ethiopian-Cross stems from influences of many ancient civilizations: Coptic, Celtic, Egyptian, Byzantine and Greek. Although Ethiopia was the second country after Armenia to adopt Christianity as its official religion, it remained isolated and independent from Europe which enabled the Ethiopian Orthodox Church to retain its early simplicity, purity, symbolism and practices of the earliest Christian cultures. This exquisite and rare Coptic-Cross pendant was made in as a modified Fleury-Cross – a cross adorned at the ends with floral designs – in crucifix form incorporating the figure of Christ. Although central to the Coptic doctrine is Christ’s resurrection and God’s everlasting and eternal love through the Sacrifice of His Son on the cross, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian tradition favors abstract designs with well-recognized symbols and forms with underlying and all-inclusive meanings over-representation of the corpus of Christ, this making this Christian-Cross fairly rare.  Each of the crosses flaring arms ends in a decorative floral assemblage of four bosses arranged in  triangle shape. The three arms symbolizes the Trinity, and when combined with the end designs, represent the 12 Apostles who spread the message of the Gospel. The Trinity is also symbolized by  its tri-partite design and by repeating basic motifs on the cross three times that reflects the relationship between God and humanity.  Although new motifs and design elements have been added to these over time to this unique African-jewelry form, makers of this crosses have retained the fundamental characteristics, forms, and common symbols in their individualized African-Art creations. Made using the lost wax technique from coin-silver with an attached suspension loop allowing a chain or cord to be threaded through it, this African-metalwork Christian-Cross with fine patina is a one-of-a-kind piece of African-jewelry. It is part of the VA 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 (1200-1920)


19th Century

Materials and Technique

Coin silver/alloy

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 1.875” Width: 1.687”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 5.94 cm Width: 125 cm


1 oz

Weight Metric

28.35 gr


Excellent, fine patina demonstrating age and use

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size