Flagon with carinated body, disc-shaped foot.
RIMINI; 13th – 14th century.Archaic majolica painted in monochrome manganese brown with a Templar emblem; on one side, unadorned triangle (without any colour cover)
H 19 cm., Øb. 8 cm., Ø rest 10 cm.; unadorned triangle: h. 6 cm., base 12 cm.. Condition: intact from base to a few millimetres below rim; handle missing. The only decoration on this flagon is a double cross, which we may interpret as a rare variant of the so-called Patriarchal or Orthodox cross, a particular iconography of the crucifix in which we also see the crosspiece which Byzantine tradition tells us Christ used to mount the cross unassisted.
Scholars have long pondered the significance of this mysterious motif, but in the light of recent and as yet unpublished research by ourselves, we are now absolutely certain that it is a Templar emblem.
The flagon once belonged to the ancient church of San Michelino in Foro in Rimini (Emilia Romagna, Italy), the seat of a community of Templar knight-monks until the order was dissolved in 1312, when the church was given to the Hospitallers. The certainty that the flagon belonged to the property confiscated from the Templars comes from Garway in Herefordshire, which has the remains of another Templar church also dedicated to St. Michael. Recent restoration work in this latter church has uncovered a large stone slab bearing an engraving of the same motif as we find on the Rimini flagon. A comparison of the two items, and the context in which they were discovered, proves the Templar origin of the symbol beyond all reasonable doubt.