Historical period(s)
6th century?
Medium
Gold
Dimensions
H x W: 4.2 x 3.5 cm (1 5/8 x 1 3/8 in)
Geography
Cyprus
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
F1910.23
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Metalwork
Type

Cross

Keywords
cross, Cyprus, engraving
Provenance

To 1910
Maurice Nahman (1868-1948), Cairo, Egypt, to 1910 [1]

From 1910 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Maurice Nahman in 1910 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] See Original Miscellaneous List, S.I. 186, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Maurice Nahman (C.L. Freer source) 1868 - 1948

Label

The surface of the gold cross is decorated with five Greek letters. Read horizontally as ZOE, they mean "life"; read vertically as PHOS, they mean "light." The two words may refer to the passage from the Gospel of St. John, 1, 4: "In Him (god) was life; and the light was the life of men."

Published References
  • Edwards Park. Treasures from the Smithsonian Institution., 1st ed. Washington and New York. p. 365.
  • Cynthia M. Wheatland. Museum Art for Christmas Giving. vol. 74, no. 11 Philadelphia, November 1957. p. 70.
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum