Wonderful Holy Family Shadowbox, circa 1880-1910. 17 1/2'' High,Wooden Framed Box with Chalkware Statue of the Holy Family.

This piece features a chalkware stature of the Holy Family; Jesus, Joseph and the Virgin Mary. Their garments have been painted bright bold colors of blue, pinks, lavender and browns. Jesus' garment is white to signify purity and innocence. He is holding up two fingers which in one interpretation states that this is done to represent the two natures of Christ - divine and human. During early church history, there were two heresies that arose. One claiming that Jesus was fully divine masquerading as a human, and another claiming that He was fully human and not really divine. The holy families faces are beautiful painted with a very serene look. Behind the wonderful statue is either a ribbed cloth or paper backing. On the backing gold paint or threads have been used to create a design of golden rays coming down from a sun shaped cartouche that has "IHS". In Christianity this term has meant several things. In Latin IHS = Jesus Savior of men. Some uses have even been created for the English language, where "IHS" is interpreted as an abbreviation of "I Have Suffered" or "In His Service". Such interpretations are known as backronyms. Used in Latin since the seventh century, the first use of IHS in an English document dates from the fourteenth century, in The vision of William concerning Piers Plowman. Saint Bernardino of Siena popularized the use of the three letters on the background of a blazing sun to displace both popular pagan symbols and seals of political factions like the Guelphs and Ghibellines in public spaces. Silk cloth has been placed around the inside of this piece. The statue is enclosed in a beautiful golden wooden frame with a glass front and a wooden back. The frame has some wear and tear and the top of the silk has come loose from the frame, neither take away the beauty or the peacefulness when you admire this wonderful piece.

We believe this piece to be from either the late 1800s or early 1900s. It was likely from a church or priest or nun's home due to the fact that it was once built into the wall. This is truly an awesome old religious artifact!

Measures: 17 ½" H x 13" W

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Item ID: MISC210


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Eileen & Russell Weiss, Lees Summit, MO   

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