Enquiry about object: 7083

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    Ethiopian Brass & Pierced Hand Cross (Yaegg Masqal)

    19th century

    height: 24.5cm, width: 9.1cm, weight: 160g



    private collection, Scotland.

    – scroll down to see further images –

    This fine pierced and engraved brass cross was made to be held in the hand and is known as a yaegg masqal. It is decorated on both sides. It has been cast in three pieces – the cross, the handle and the finial – and these were then welded together. It is pierced, through which candlelight could shine.

    The small pattee cross in the centre is framed by three concentric circles with an outer border of multiple pattee crosses.

    The bottom finial comprises a square composed of interlaced work from which three small pattee crosses emanate.

    The handle is decorated on both sides in relief with a banded, braided pattern.

    The cross has a fine patina.


    Biasio, E., Majesty and Magnificence at the Court of Menelik: Alfred Ilg’s Ethiopia around 1900, Verlag Nueue Zurcher Zeitung, 2004.

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