Avellan Cross

Looking a bit like ram horns, the curves at the arm ends of this cross are commonly seen in ornamental 'gothic' door furniture, such as hinges and handles.

Avellan Cross (Avellane Cross)

also called Cercelée / Recercelée / Sarcellée Cross

Avellan Cross

The Latin Corylus avellana is more commonly known as 'hazel shrub', traditionally the material of choice for making hedgerow boundaries in the English lowlands. The longer poles were used as a basis for wattle-and-daub buildings and fences. Another product of the shrub is hazelnut, used for confectionery, cooking oil, and more recently for flavouring coffee.

The shape of the hazelnut gives its name to the Avellan Cross, an 18th century heraldic symbol, with the three points on the arms symbolizing the Trinity.

Because of its circular ends, another heraldic name for this type is the Cross Cercelée (or Cercely), or since the ends curve back on themselves, the Cross Recercelée.

An etymologically related word is sarcel, and as this cross looks similar to the long tail of the French Sarcelle duck (English name: Teal), another name is the Cross Sarcellée (or Sarcelly).

See also Anchor Cross and Moline Cross.


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