The beautiful intention reads, "Soyons lui toujours fidele, elle nous conduira au ciel" (Let us always be faithful to her for she conducts us to heaven). This reliquary is convent or monastery work which dates towards 1860. It originates from a large reliquary collection in Burgundy.
These reliquaries were meant for travel as they were small and mobile and could hang anywhere. This genre is specific to France. The base is hard paper board. This has been covered with a fabric at the back with gilded metal braid. Paperboard which is covered with silk forms an oval shaped medallion box. Inside of this is very delicate paperolle work in the form of scrolls and two large hearts. This rolled paper design is lovely, the paper has gilded edges which gleam in the light. A gorgeous paperolle rose rests at the top center between two paper hearts. Their are five banners with the name of Saintes.
At the center is an oval lithograph of the Sacred Heart which has been placed into an acordian-frame paperolle mount. The hand colored lithograph presents the Sacred Heart of Jesus atop a crown of thorns with a cross in the sky and two small angels at the left and right. This entire design is placed under glass which is sealed by a silk braided rope. There is a wide creme colored silk ribbon attached to the top for hanging.
It measures: 5" x 3" and 1" thick. The actual design portion measures 4 1/4" x 2 1/2". It is in very good antique condition: the paperolle design is intact, the engraving retains the original hues, The fabric and braid are in good condition with minor wear. There is staining to the silk which frames the paperolle design.
It is a precious object of nineteenth century devotional monastery work.