Antique/Vintage Ethiopian Coptic Cross, Axum (E325ZLX) $150



The top of this early 20th century Ethiopian Cross is circular with pierced 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 crisscross 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 early 20th century 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 Cross. For Egyptians, the ankh represented the sun god and eternal life granted by the gods; to the Copts, it symbolizes Christ’s halo, divinity and God’s everlasting and eternal love through Christ’s sacrifice. 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 believed to be housed in Axum’s St Mary of Zion Church. The matrix  of interlocking threads in a never-ending-knot is a visualization of  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 order and everlasting life for its followers. The center contains a stylized Cross Pattée with flaring arms. African crosses are also worn to assure blessings, good health and protection with apotropaic forces to repel evil. Impressed circles are “protective eyes” bringing blessings that repel evil forces and harm, deflect misfortune and avert the “evil eye ” while crisscrossed patterns are believed to entrap evil spirits for eternity in their quest to follow the endless lines.

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



Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique/Vintage (1910-1980)



Materials and Technique

Coin silver

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

Item Number


Shipping Box Size