Altar Cross ~ World Heritage ~ 1oz Silver Coin Gilded 2015 2$ Niue

Price from:   4985 грн

This engraved fourteenth-century altar cross is believed to be of Catalan or Aragonese origin. It is decorated with four enamelled copper plaques. The central one shows a floating Christ with arms outstretched as if on the cross, against a blue sky studded with thirty-three stars, one for each of Christ's years on earth. The plaque to the left depicts the Virgin Mary, the one above an angel and the one below Adam rising from Golgotha (the hill on which Christ was nailed to the Cross). The right-hand plaque, which unfortunately is missing, would have shown St John the Evangelist. The plaques were made using the champlevé technique, where the goldsmith engraves the design into copper and lays powdered coloured glass into the grooves. This fuses with the metal when fired and is then gilded with a mercury-gold solution. The cross has been in the British Museum's collection since 1895, but the central plaque of Christ has only recently been restored to its original setting. In the nineteenth century many fine religious objects were broken up and pieces such as this were sold to satisfy the demand for small enamels to display in cabinets. The plaque eventually became part of the Keir Collection, owned by London-based collector Edmund de Unger. While on loan to the British Museum in 1981 for a temporary display its connection to the altar cross was realised. Mr de Unger's generosity in donating the plaque to the Museum in 2003 led to a rare and exciting reunion between the two objects.

Reverse Design 
The reverse captures the centrepiece of the altar cross. It shows a floating Christ (in high relief) with arms outstretched as if on the cross, against a blue sky studded with thirty-three stars, one for each of Christ's years on earth. The silver coin is gilded and lacquered. Due to the holes in the coin, it can be worn as a necklace as well. A true masterpiece! 
Obverse Design 
The obverse features the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the year of issue and the denomination of the coin. 
Packaging 
The World Heritage - Altar Cross silver coin is packaged inside an elegant, red wooden box. It is in a beautiful case, which is doing a great job in staging the remarkable coin. The Certificate of Authenticity is displayed on the inner packaging and matches the number on the coin.

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