Framed embroidered and sequinned icon on a black background. A large, heavily decorated gold, pink, and green cross takes up most of the frame. The basic shape of the gross is made with gold thread. Over the transection of the cross is a green cross with the arms resembling whale tales. At the center part of each of these four arms are two layerd sequins and placed in the curve of the tails is a pink triangle. The pink triangles are outlined by close yellow sequins with black beads. At the very center of the intersection is a box around an X in metalic thread decorated with sequins at its center and points. Between the top arm of the cross and the left and right arms are three little pieces of pointed white paper secured with multiple sequins as decoration. The cross ends at its base with long rectangle of alternating blue and light yellow rectangles of embroidery broken into two rows by a thin, twisted gold rope. This stand is also decorated with a series of sequins.
The cross is intersected at the middle with an anchor. The bottom arm of the green cross lands right in the middle of a curved, tooth-shaped silvery grey piece that overlaps the cross. The anchor runs through (behind?) this. The body of the anchor is made of the same silvery grey thread with gold metalic thread wrapped around the bottom and punctuated by rope twisted silver metalic thread. Links of gold metalic thread loop around the length of the anchor as if they were actually attached to it for practical reasons.
Just above the cross are two sun/flower like decorations to the left and right of the cross. They are identical with large yellow stones at the center. They are directly surrounded by metalic chains and then a band of blue sequins. Then a band of white petal like pieces of paper with pink sequins at the tips and then black sequins between the tips.
The entire image is bordered by four strands of embroidery floss. The two lateral bands are green and the inner two are pink. They are punctuated by sequins and drawn in together near the corners by little black bands to break up the long lines. There is more sequin decoration across the picture.
This piece was used in the Greek Folk Art Exhibit in 1993. It was previously Loan Item 23.1993.2. Before that the donor, Christine Petsas, indicated that the icon was used as a religious wall hanging in a home but not whose home or whether it was in Greek or Greek-American home.
The cross marks this as a christian icon. The green cross over the gold cross most closely resembles a Moline cross. However, the Moline Cross has pointed lobes (even more like a whale tail) and is generally associated with England rather than Greece. Greece has a long history of weaving and embroidery in textile work and so it fits culturally that a Greek Orthodox symbol would be made from this medium.
The symbols of the cross, anchor, and heart, are commonly seen together in Christian heart. They represent the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and love as referenced in the Christian bible: "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
Rights and Reproduction
The content on this site is made available for research and education purposes only. The use of these materials may be restricted by law or the donor.
Any other use, such as exhibition, publication, or commercial use, is not allowed except by written permission in accordance with the NHM Image Rights and Reproduction Policy
For questions on image rights and reproduction, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Icon, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/6456. Accessed 01/18/22.