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This fine cross has been cut from several pieces of steel. It was made to be held in the hand and is known as a yaegg masqal.
The cross is a pattee cross enclosed within a rhombus topped with a quatrefoil finial, with pierced sides, and unusual bird-like heads radiating from the lower sections. The cross is further engraved with line-work.
The handle is squarish and the rectangular base terminates with a quatrefoil. One side of the base is engraved with an angel with a drawn sword, probably either Michael or Gabriel. The other side is plain.
The cross has a good patina.
Biasio, E., Majesty and Magnificence at the Court of Menelik: Alfred Ilg’s Ethiopia around 1900, Verlag Nueue Zurcher Zeitung, 2004.