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Georgian Gold & Coral Maltese Cross Necklace

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A late Georgian carved coral Maltese cross on a coral barrel linked chain, made circa 1820. The eight outer points of this cross are symbolic of regeneration. They are sometimes said to represent the eight beatitudes. The cross was the emblem of the Knights of St. John, who were driven from Rhodes to the island of Malta by the Turks. Malta is the island where St. Paul was shipwrecked. It is universally agreed that the four arms of the Cross stand for the four Cardinal Virtues – prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude.

The eight points also symbolize the eight obligations or aspirations of the knights: to live in truth, to have faith, to repent one’s sins, to give proof of humility, to love justice, to be merciful, to be sincere and wholehearted and to endure persecution.

Written by Olly Gerrish
Date & OriginGeorgian (1714-1830), English
MeasurementsChain 16 in / 41.5 cmCross 1 in / 2.3 cm
ConditionVery good
HallmarksUnmarked, tested to 9ct gold
ProvenanceEnglish