We see the Maltese Cross, or adaptations of it, in various forms and certainly as jewelry, in various contexts around the world. Even though it has been associated with Malta for centuries, it originated in the Italian republic of Amalfi in the 11th century. So – good branding! Below and on the following pages, we’ll look at a few jewels in the form of a Maltese Cross.
Antique Gold Filigree Maltese Cross Pendant c.1800
Offered by Sue Brown, via 1stdibs, this beautiful filigree Cross was made on the island of Malta more than 200 years ago. It is intricately constructed and is in very good condition, including the original large bale. It has the fleur de lys (lily) motif between each arm. Both sides of the Cross are identical and it is made from unmarked 18K gold. Dimensions: 5.5 cm x 5,5 cm
Malta Uncovered explains what this cross is all about:
The Maltese cross is a symbol that is most commonly associated with the Knights of Malta (also known as the Knights Hospitallers of St. John), who ruled the Maltese islands between 1530 and 1798. The Maltese cross is nowadays widely used and associated with Malta as a country, used by the national airline Air Malta as part of its livery, and even featuring on the Maltese Euro coins, for example.
The Cross is also the symbol of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, which is still in existence and active as an international organisation for medical and humanitarian aid – and the Maltese Cross is also seen as a universal symbol uniting emergency service providers in the medical and other fields. The eight points have been interpreted to suit various situations, but most agree that to the original Knights of Malta they meant “to live in truth, have faith, repent one’s sins, give proof of humility, love justice, be merciful, be sincere and wholehearted, and to endure persecution”.
Tiffany & Co ” Schlumberger ” Maltese Cross Pendant/Brooch
Offered by Lori Mesa Antiques & Fine Jewelry, via 1stdibs, this piece of jewelry is inspired by the symbol of Amalfi, Italy’s oldest
republic, later becoming the symbol of Malta. This is a 21st century Tiffany & Co clip in 18K gold with round brilliant diamonds.
Signed: Tiffany & Co “Schlumberger”