Lorraine Cross Religious Pendant, c. 1784-1810

Lorraine double-cross religious pendant in the collections of The Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles, California.

Museum Description: silver cross with double cross bars. Tips of cross bars are bi-lobed. Top is tri-lobed. Base has pedestal like case. Ring for hanging at top of cross. On both sides of cross are floral like designs and lines consisting of series of dots. Undulating line extends up center of cross. Initials of maker "CA" at center of cross on one side. A trade item found at Eel River Miami Site, Illinois. Structurally sound. Some black discoloration across surface, especially on back.

Physical Description: silver; 2 3/4 in. x 5 3/8 in.

NDT Note: Silver religious pendant (in shape of a Lorraine Cross); made by Charles Arnoldi. Trade item; adornment. Item measures: L: 5 3/8 in, W: 2 in. Item not weighed. Material: silver. Condition of object: 1; a bit tarnished and scratched, but in excellent condition overall; item number indicated on one side at very bottom of cross; "CA" (initials of maker) engraved on one side. Caption: "Religious Pendant--Autry Museum of Western Heritage."

Provenance: Purchased from Mr. Compton LaBauve, Jr. Date collected unknown; trade item found at Eel River, Illinois; museum accession in 1990, prior to that (Dec. 1, 1989-Jan. 1, 1990) on temporary loan to the museum along with three other items.

The Autry's Collections Online reads: Object Name: pendant, religious; Maker: Charles Arnoldi; Date: early 1800s; Materials: Silver; Dimensions: L: 5 3/8 in., W: 1 1/2in., W: 2 3/4in.; Place Collected: Illinois, Eel River; Object ID: 89.217.2; Institution: Autry Museum of the American West; Category: Art and Artifacts; Remarks: Silver Cross of Lorraine pendant, made by Charles Arnoldi, found at a Miami Indian site in Illinois, early 1800s. For most Indian people involved in the future trade, wearing a cross did not mean the owner was Christian. The shape of the cross was a popular Indian symbol before contact with Europeans. A cross with two arms, such as this one, was interpreted as a representation of the dragonfly. Subject: Fur Trade (Encounters exhibition), Indian trade, decorative arts. Used: Miami Culture (North American Indian tribe). 

Traditional Knowledge: 

waapišooli pimitahaakani (silver cross).