ETHIOPIAN, LATE 18TH/ EARLY 19TH CENTURY
Overall the condition of the brass is good with some dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There is a loss to one of the rounded vertices and the other has probably been reattached - there appear to be some later plugs at the bottom and there are some minor losses to the brass at the top where it attaches to the cross. There is a knock to the openwork finial here as well. There is general surface wear including some scratches and standard wear to the gilding. There are a few small dents to the shaft including to just below the remaining rounded vertice and to the top part of the shaft in between the nails.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
This large Ethiopian cross bears close comparison to a mid-18th century staff-mounted cross of gilded brass, published by Di Salvo (op. cit.). The elaborately incised piece shows a Virgin and Child in the top finial, surrounded by angels, as does the present cross. At the feet of the Virgin is a prostrate figure, depicting Queen Mentewab of Ethiopia.
M. Di Salvo, Crosses of Ethiopia, The Sign of Faith. Evolution and Form, Milan, 2006, pp. 74-77, fig. 31