This is a stunning framed reliquary which is set with brilliant clear, red and green glass stones. It originates from a small convent collection and dates towards 1880.
The reliquary frame is a beautifully cast gilded bronze piece. There are eight scallops which form around the central reliquary box. The scallops alternate in two patterns: two arabesques scrolling toward a central fleur de lis (one missing fleur de lis) and an arched scallop with dentelle along the edge. There are four large green stones (bezel set) and eight small ruby glass stones (bezel set). The reliquary frame is set with 24 faceted clear glass stones. There is a gilded brass interior frame which has a pattern of repeating fleur de lis teeth (two teeth missing). At the top of the frame is a beautiful cross which is set with a central green glass stone. The box has a back closure piece which slides off to reveal the hand painted octagonal reliquary board. (Layers of cardboard serve to hold the reliquary tight to the glass....these have been added recently...you could also use a small wooden block). The hand painted reliquary paper board has four pieces of silvered Dresden paper. There are arabesques painted in red to symbolize blood. There are the remains of the was which sealed the relic in place at the center. The back of the board is affixed with embossed dark green paper of the period. The glass is curved seals the front shut. There is a ring at the back for threading a chain or ribbon.
It measures: 4 1/4" tall, 3 1/4" wide: the reliquary board measures: 1 3/4" x 1 1/2". It is in very good antique condition: (please note the missing teeth of the inner frame as mentioned and the missing fleur de lis as mentioned), There are the usual odd bends as is typical with these old cast metal pieces. There are not chips or cracks to the curved glass. The door shuts properly.
It is a beautiful piece which combines a simple hand painted reliquary (monastery or convent work) with a gloriously gilded and embellished frame. It is a spectacular religious reliquary box/frame from the late 19th century.
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