Renaissance Gold Tau Cross Pendant
This is a nice Renaissance gold Tau cross pendant, dating to the 16th century A.D. This example is engraved with three crosses on one side, with owners initials T.H. on the other. The Tau-Cross is known as the cross of St. Anthony, worn by the Knights Hospitallers and those seeking healing and protection from disease and the plague. A 15th-century example in gold is held by The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1990.283a, b).
Originating from Spain, this cross dates to the period of the Reconquista and the discovery of the Americas. It is possible the gold used in this cross came from Aztec and Inca sources - brought back in the Spanish Treasure Fleets. It retains the original suspension loop, enabling this piece to be worn again today.
OBJECT: Tau Cross Pendant
DATE: c. 16th century A.D.
SIZE: 25mm x 17mm x 1mm
WEIGHT: 3 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. Private Collection Suffolk, originally acquired in Spain during the 1940's.