Hand-carved from a thick block of marble, this Italian stemma plaque is emblazoned with a central charge of a variation of the Maltese cross, known as a cross pattee, where the arms taper in the center. First seen on books in the 7th and 8th centuries, it was not until the 1200’s that the cross pattee began to be used in heraldry. With this cross, the ends are concave, making this a cross pattee alisee, which was once associated with the Knights Templar.
The white marble cross is inset within a larger piece of golden marble with subtle veining. A thin molding surrounds the raised oval cartouche. A scalloped leaf graces the top of the heraldic shield, while the bottom has a parted leaf. The sides and shoulders of the plaque are adorned with C-scrolls and curled leaves.
A lovely accessory for any collector, the Italian plaque can be displayed on any table or mantel with the aid of a stand. It can also be affixed to the wall, making an elegant, mounted sculpture. The surface and patina of the stone has been aged in way that mimics centuries of natural wear and handling.
CONDITION: Good condition with light buildup. Fleabites and minor losses. Please see photos for details.