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museumtom

Chaplains skull and crossbones crucifix

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museumtom

I never heard of these before, is it true?

Kind regards.

 Tom.

image.png.676f3a9c5c3ef2c25283d8be7f263f43.png

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Uncle George

That’s a Masonic crucifix I think.

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museumtom

Thanks you George.

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keithfazzani

Sorry to disagree but skull and crossbones are not unusual on crucifixes particularly in Europe in the 19th Century. The skull symbolises “Golgotha” the Jewish name for the place where Jesus was crucified, which translated means “The Place of the Skull”. 

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museumtom

Thank you Keith. I had seen one for sale and it was being sold as a WW1 Chaplains crucifix for anointing soldiers. I had not heard of this before and a quick look on the net showed others saying the same thing. That was why I asked the question.

 Kind regards.

 Tom.

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keithfazzani

I see no reason at all why it should be described as a chaplain’s cross, may have been may not have been. If it were it would almost certainly have belonged to a Roman Catholic chaplain. It “looks” very French to me.  It does appear that the original has been stuck on to a piece of brass or it may nave been made that way, so therefore could be described as Trench Art. Whether it was done for a chaplain, who knows, quite possibly. 

 

  

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OLD ROBIN HOOD

Greetings from Sherwood Forest on a beautiful sunny morning.

I have in front of me a crucifix of the type illustrated. The skull and crossbones were obviously affixed at the time that it was made.

As far as I know it has no military connections whatever. I think that keithfazzani s  theory about it symbolising Golgotha makes a good deal of sense.

Being described as a Chaplains cross would make one of these much more easy to sell.

I was once Catholic but don't ever remember seeing one when I was young.

 

                                                             Old Robin Hood

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museumtom

Thank you Keith and Robin. In the deep dark distant rescess of my mind I remember(?) seeing the Spanish nuns wearing these in the 1970's, and sure enough a quick look in a popular auction site for Nuns cross lots of them come up, skull and crossbones and all!

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edwin astill

The skull and bones very common in Eastern Orthodox usage.  As well as referring to Golgotha it may also symbolise Christ conquering death by his own death and resurrection.

 

Edwin

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Ron Clifton

I have one of these, inherited from my father who, I understand, picked it up in Italy in WW2 (he was never in the Army in France).

 

Ron

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Dave66
Steven Broomfield

I'd very much dobt any Masonic relevance.

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keithfazzani

Nor me Steve. As to whether the one on e-bay was a German Soldiers Crucifix, who knows. I am sure there were lots of similar crucifixes in circulation and many would have been carried by troops. Without provenance who knows whether this one was. I would hazard that it is a 19th or early 20th century crucifix and leave it at that. 

 

As an aside I have a crucifix from a similar period in my study, no skull and crossbones and mounted on plain wood. I bought it many years ago in France. The feet of the figure of Christ are worn shiny. I like to think that it belonged to a mother of a WW1 Poilu who touched or kissed it each day to keep him safe. Of course I have no evidence of this at all, mere speculation. But symbols can take on meanings totally unrelated to their reality. 

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