(Italian, 15th century)
silver gilt, rock crystal, painted enamel
Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Fund
Each terminal of this enameled silver cross is decorated with an eight-pointed star containing a small window made of rock crystal. A central square also contains a rock crystal window. Each of these five chambers would have held an image drawn on parchment or a holy relic. Rock crystal was used not only because of its natural clarity but also because it was believed to possess purifying properties. This cross would have been mounted on an altar.