This is an extremely heavy, cast bronze, gilded example. It originates from Paris and dates towards the end of the Napoleon III era (1870).
The design elements are detailed; finely cast with imagery of sin and redemption. The small font is presented as a stylized shell which rises up from swirling clouds. Beneath the font is a slithering serpent which holds the forbidden fruit in it's mouth. Two glorious angels flank the font. The folds in their robes and the details of their faces, arms and legs are rich and life-like in form. The angel on the left holds a bishop's miter, the one on the right a staff. At the center, above the font is the Holy Cross which is depicted with intertwining grape vines. Above the cross are the faces of five cherubs. The top edges consist of shimmering rays pointing toward heaven. The gilded patina is rich and thick. It reflects hues of rose and brilliant gold. The back has a ring for hanging. There are marks from the mold, where the metal was removed running horizontally. The back is gilded but to a lesser patina and degree. The benetier measures: 12" tall and 8 1/2" wide at the widest point. It is very good antique condition with little noticeable wear to the patina.
It is a rare and exquisite example of religious art from the period of Napoleon III.
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