Full image caption
Front of a gold pendant in the shape of a cross. It is decorated with an engraving of Christ crucified and is set with four garnets (one is missing). The back side of the pendent shows the Virgin and Child. The Cross opens by removing a pin at the top. Once open, it reveals a cavity inside containing a fragment of wood set in wax. The owner of this pendant would almost certainly have believed that the piece of wood inside was from the True Cross, the cross on which Christ was crucified. As well as visiting the shrines of saints, wealthy people bought holy relics. Pieces of the True Cross were among the most sought after and prized of such relics.
© Museum of London