The Cashel Pyx | Metal,silver (gilded) | 18th century AD | The Hunt Collection | PD HCM 125

A pyx is a circular lidded box, in use from antiquity, and a Christian times used by the cleric to carry communion bread to the sick. Often made of silver or silver gilt, the Cashel pyx is of parcel gilt. It has a large crucifixion scene on the front with some hatching on either side, which gives it a rough appearance, like bark. 

The significance of this is twofold: Christ’s cross was made from a tree, and it was a tree, furthermore, a fruit tree in the Garden of Eden, that caused the Fall, the Fall that Christ redeemed by dying on a cross. The inscription ‘In crude Pendentem Te Less Adoro Te’ (Jesus hanging on the cross I adore you) is to be seen around the circumference of the cross with the dedication ‘INRI’ (Jesus of Nazareth King of Jews) above it. The inscription on the left is ‘Fran Sall me fire fecit” (Franciscan All had me made) and the abbreviated engraving on the right “Pro Tu ConuTe St Franc Case I’ is probably a reference to the conventual or high-class Franciscans. On the obverse, more crudely worked, is a cross with the capitals ‘IHS’ a red heart with three nails, symbols of passion. There is a rope-like surround, a locking device below and a hanging ring on top.