Due to its smooth, clean lines and its restrained adornment of gems, consisting of 21 sapphire rhomboids and five ruby cabochons, the gold cross's appearance is at once simple and elegant. Its original leather case bears the coat of arms of Jean de France, duke of Berry, whose inventory of 1401/02 clearly describes the cross. The base of the stand, however, displays the coat of arms and emblems of his great-nephew Philip III the Good, duke of Burgundy. Philip's emblem, with the two opposing, lowercase "e" characters, appears for the first time in 1453, so it can be assumed that the restoration of the stand was not commissioned until sometime thereafter. The basic shape of the base, however, was apparently retained and thus still fits in the original case. Philip the Good also had the cross itself altered to accommodate a particle of the True Cross at the intersection of the arms. Since that time it has served as a cross of allegiance on which the members of the Order of the Golden Fleece have taken their oath. Inventory records since 1487 have listed it as the property of the order; prior to that that it was kept in the treasury of the dukes of Burgundy.
Kreuz: Französisch, Fuß, Ständer: Niederländisch
um 1400 (Kreuz), 1453/67 (Ständer)
Gold, Perlen, Saphire, Rubine
H. 36 cm, B. 16 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Weltliche Schatzkammer
Schatzkammer, WS Dep Prot 1
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