This unusual crucifix, with its lively and sophisticated, yet eccentric design, is a classic hinge piece between the East and West. Here, a familiar Western form is slightly adapted by Eastern materials and craftsmanship and the local design traditions.
An almost identical crucifix, of exactly the same form, materials and with the same mix of geometric and floral inlay is in the Franciscan Church at Livorno (see Can. E. Mai, La Chiesa della Madonna in Livorno: una chiesa tutta dialogio, Livorno, 2001, cover illustration). For additional examples of several other of these unusual objects, and for a discussion in the difficulty in precise attributions for these pieces made over an area from the Near East, specifically the Jerusalem area, to the Indian subcontinent, see N. Vasallo e Silva, No caminho do Japão, 1993, cat. 8 and 9.