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A few details on a newly acquired family heirloom.


My granny decided to send me part of my inheritance early this Christmas, and one of my presents was a Jerusalem cross she'd bought in her salad days when touring the Holy Lands.

A scan of my Jerusalem Cross pendant

The scan doesn't really do it justice; I did my best in Photoshop to try and reflect the color of the red stones, but the light from the scanner washes out the gems. They are really a much richer red. I remember Granny wearing this Jerusalem cross many times, and always liked it.

A close up view of the chain

Of the item itself she wrote to me:

We were there the year before the 6 day war (1966 or 1967)1 when many Palestinians still were accepted as artisans and had their own place in society. In fact, we stayed at a Palestinian hotel which looked down on the walls of Jerusalem. There was a street in the city where silversmiths plied their trade. You could identify the work of certain smiths by the chains they forged for their jewellery.

The Jerusalem Cross is on one of such chains. No one besides that particular smith could use that particular pattern. It was 40 years ago that I found it. I do not know how old the cross was then, but the design was sketched out, I believe, by the crusaders and was also called the scarlet lychnis2 because of the red stones. I have been saving it for you since you were born.

1 Google says that the Six-Day War occurred in 1967, so if my granny was there the year before, it must have been 1966, exactly 40 years ago this year.

2 According to the Wikipedia article, the scarlet lychnis (a type of flower) is connected with the Maltese Cross, not the Jerusalem Cross— but since both were used by Crusaders, perhaps it's applied interchangeably.

At 31-01-2006 12:56AM john commented:

That's awesome gift anyone could get ever. I must say you are a lucky fellow.

At 31-01-2006 05:33PM ARJ commented:

Thanks Mr Spammer! BTW I have deleted your splog link and will continue to do so. And I'm not really a "fellow" in the male sense. Have a spamalicious day!

At 03-02-2006 03:34AM Kevin commented:

I agree with the Spammer Man. You are a lucky fellow :) Actually, though, it does look like a really cool thing to have gotten. Plus, it's not some new trinket, it's something with a bit of history to it. I mean, wow, your grandmother had that for 4 decades! By the way, nice use of Pat Benetar lyrics.

At 06-02-2006 02:49PM ARJ commented:

Thanks, Kev-Dogg! Glad to see you around.

One more reason to try and update more often.

At 02-03-2006 11:16AM Mom commented:

For further information: I wore that necklace when I married you dad. If you have one of our wedding pictures you can see it. If not, I'll see if I can scan and e-mail you one. Understand that all my pictures are in a box in my rented storage area. Hope to talk to you this weekend.

At 03-03-2006 10:31AM ARJ commented:

I have that picture. Now that I look at it again, I can spot the necklace right away!
It's in my online photo album here.

About the Geek Icon

This is the weblog of a computer geek with a thousand interests, documenting the ins and outs, ups and downs of her daily life. A dual citizen of the US and Australia who has settled (for the time being) in Sydney. Read more about her on the bio page.

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