11th Century: reliquary cross

The Reich Cross, dated 1024/25, 1325

Reliquary: West German; Foot: Prague

Oak core, fabric, gold sheet, precious stones, antique cameos, pearls; RS and sides: niello, iron pin for use as a lecture cross; Foot: silver, gold-plated, enamel

Item page at Vienna Art History Museum

The Imperial Cross represents a highlight of medieval goldsmith’s art and was created during the reign of Emperor Conrad II (1024-1039). The front is densely decorated with gemstones and pearls, while the back shows a niello drawing of the twelve apostles, the apocalyptic lamb and the four evangelist symbols.

H. 77.5, W. 70.8 cm

Total height: 92.5 cm

Foot: H. 17.3 cm


Like the imperial crown, the imperial cross is also filled with deep symbolic meaning. First of all, it is a symbol of Christian triumph, since Christ overcame his death on the cross through the resurrection. Since Emperor Constantine won his victory at the Milvian Bridge (312) under the protection of the cross, the cross was also considered a national emblem of the Roman Empire, an idea that was consciously continued by Charlemagne and to which the Ottonian and Roman Empire also relied early Salal rulers. The Imperial Cross can therefore be interpreted as a sign of Christian triumph, victory and imperial representation. It is part of a series of famous imperial foundations, at the beginning of which is a jeweled triumphal cross (crux gemmata), which Theodosius II had erected on Golgotha ​​Hill before 450. The Imperial Cross is not only a triumphant crux gemmata, but also a relic container. Parts of the front can be removed in panels and reveal the recesses inside in which the imperial relics were once kept: in the cross arm the Holy Lance (inv. no. SK_WS_XIII_19) and in the shaft the cross particles (inv. no. SK_WS_XIII_20) . These extremely valuable passion relics were considered a pledge of the “royal salvation” and the victorious power of the ruler. The meaning of the relics finds a perfect correspondence in the shape of the shell that contains them, which surpasses all secular symbols of power in terms of symbolic power.

Vienna Art History Museum, Secular Treasury

INV. NO. Treasury, WS XIII 21, Imperial Treasury ViennaRoom 11

11th Century: Chalice Base

Unfortunately, this is all I have on this. If I find more it will go in here.

11th Century: Reliquary Bag with plaques and pearls

Reliquienbeutel, Trier, around 993

IN GERMAN: “Beutel für eine Kreuzreliquie, Vorderseite, Stickerei mit Perlen, vergoldeten Appliken und Spiralknoten. Trier, nm 993. Nürnberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum (KG 562)
Auch noch aus dem späten 10.Jahrhundert stammt der mit bunter Seide in Ketten-, Stiel- und versetztem Flachstich auf Leinen gestickte Alexanderflug in Würzburg, der dort lange mit der großen bemalten seidenen Kiliansfahne verbunden gewesen ist.

Der wohl von Anfang an für Hildesheim bestimmte, wahrscheinlich aber noch in Trier um 993 gearbeitete Beutel für eine Kreuzreliquie in Germanischen Nationalmuseum, Nürnburg, ist aus rotem, ungermustertem Samit. Auf seiner Vorderseite wirkt die Aufnäharbeit mit Perlenkränzen um vergoldete Appliken in Kreuz- und Herzform, teilweise mit eingelassenen Glasflüssen, rot gefärbtem Bernstein oder gefaßten Almandinen sowie mit vier Goldspiralknoten wie Goldschmiedewerk, während auf der Rückseite Goldfäden in versenkter Anlegetechnik verarbeitet sind.

(translated via internet):

Bags for a Kreuzreliquie, front, embroidery with beads, gilded Appliken and spiral knots. Trier, Nm 993. Nuernberg, Germanic national museum (kg of 562) Also still from the late 10. century originates the Alexanderflug in peppering castle, gestickte with multicolored silk in chains -, handle and transferred flat pass on linen, which was connected for a long time with the large painted be-being those Kiliansfahne there.

Probably from the outset for Hildesheim the determined, probably however still in Trier around 993 bags worked for a Kreuzreliquie in Germanic national museum, Nuernburg, is from red, ungermustertem Samit. Its front the sewing on work with bead rings affects around gilded Appliken in cross and heart form, partly with let in glass rivers, red colored amber or calm Almandinen as well as with four gold spiral knots such as gold forging work, while on the back gold threads are finished in sunk putting on technology.

Bag for a cross relic, front, embroidery with pearls, gilded Appliken and Spiralknoten. Trier, nm 993rd Nuremberg, germanic national museum (KG 562)
Also yet out of the late 10. century the Alexanderflug embroidered with colorful silk in chains, handle and staggered flat sting on lines in Würzburg, that comes painted been is there long with the large silk Kiliansfahne connected.

That probably from the beginning for Hildesheim determined, probably however yet in Trier around 993 worked bags for a cross relic in germanic national museums, Nürnburg, is out of red, ungermustertem Samit. On its front, the Aufnäharbeit with pearl wreaths influences gilded around Appliken in Kreuz- and heart form, partial with admitted glass rivers, red colored amber or calm Almandinen as well as with four Goldspiralknoten as well as gold smith work, during the back gold threads in sunk designed technology processed are.

Thanks to Roxelana Bramante for her typing this for me.