This is a beautiful paperolle example with a central "calcaire" Madonna and child. It originates from a small religious collection in Champagne, France and dates towards 1860.
This type of small reliquary is known as "convent work" which was fashioned by nuns. Each reliquary is highly individual and is the product of many hours of heartfelt work. The base of the reliquary is hard paper board. Fabric is used to line the outer edges. Fine metal braid embellishes the outer side both top and bottom. The reliquary features a cast (limestone powder) figure of the Madonna and child. They are placed in an arched frame of gilt tipped paper scrolls. The background behind them is of gilded fabric. Surrounding the inner edge are very stylized gilt paper scrolls, each with a large central pearl bead. Saints names surround the central Madonna with the name of a church, V.d.n.d. de Lorete, at the bottom. A large hand cult gilt flower is at the bottom center. It is embellished with red and clear glass stones (two stones missing). An oval hand cut glass seals the box.
It measures 6" x 3 3/4" (widest point) x 3/4" tall.The calcaire Madonna is 1 1/8" tall. It is in very good antique condition: The metal braid has darkened, One of the half moon bands at the top right has flattened. There are two missing stones to the flower. No hanging ribbons remains. The glass is in good order with no chips or breaks.
This type of work was specific to the period of Napoleon III in France. Each surviving example is a precious piece of religious art and devotional history of the period.
European Importer of Authentic 18th and 19th Century Religious Antiques:Division of Paris Chateau
Fine Devotional Antiques: Ex Voto: Sacred Hearts: Santos Crowns: Reliquaries: Sacred Objects: Monastery Work: Religious Art