This is a rare large, life size and heavy example dating from the period of Napoleon III, towards 1860. It would have graced the head of a life sized Madonna in a large Catholic parish. It originates from a very fine religious crown collection in France.
It is one of the rare styles of crowns in that the center flower is set in such a way that it "trembles" when moved. This style was popular just at the middle of the nineteenth century. The center flower is huge, measuring 2 3/4" in diameter. On each side of this are large (1 3/4" in diameter) flowers fully filled by clear bezel set glass stones. The central stone in each flower is large and faceted, measuring 5/8" in diameter. Set beneath the raised flowers is an underlying design of festoons which are set with small and medium glass stones. Two additional large glass stones flank the trembling flower (5/8" in diameter and faceted). At the end of the cascading design is a large gilded brass leaf and a festoon of grapes (represented by bezel set clear glass stones). The band bottom band is set with glass stones at the front and has three slots at the back for adjustment. Take special note of the construction at the back; this is the work of a master craftsman who had to build structure and form to achieve the layered effect (which involved balance of all parts of the crown).
At the smallest adjustment is measures 5" in diameter. At the largest adjustment 6" in diameter. It is 3 1/4" tall at the center tapering to 1 1/2" tall at each side. It is in very good antique condition: the back head band has irregularities which can be smoothed out (from years of sitting and being replaced on a statue). There are no missing stones noted. The flowers are intact and the crown is solid.
It is a fine and early example, made in a metal work shop which specialized in magnificent religious accessories. When viewed as it would have been on a statue, it is extravagantly impressive, with crystal rays of light shimmering forth from the many, many glass stones.
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