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Antique Nineteenth Century French Hanging Bronze Champleve Holy Water Font Benetier
A beautiful hanging Holy Water Benetier Font, it is in the form of a large cross. It is embellished with the monogram of Jesus, "IHS" at the center top. It originates from a small collection in the south of France and dates towards 1880.
Champleve work was exceptionally popular in France during the late 19th century. The process of producing such enthusiastic and colorful designs goes back to Romanesque time. The cast bronze form has channels into which colored enamel is placed. This work is done by hand and is very meticulous and time consuming. Flowers, arabesques, scrolls and leaves are added in brilliant colors of French blue, Navy, Yellow, Rose, Burgundy, Orange and White. The bronze shines through the solid French blue fields to reveal flowers, scrolls and arabesques.. The monogram is in scrolling font and is placed with in a rosette frame. There is a model number stamped at the back, 4075.
The holy water bowl at the bottom has a half moon shaped lid which opens. The bowl has a layer of white enamel (there is a water residue line on the enamel) .There is a large ring at the back for hanging and a bronze "stop" to aid in the benetier resting against the wall straightly. It measures: 7" tall and 4" wide: the font is 1" x 1 1/2" and is 1/2" deep. It is in solid and very good antique condition. There are no noted missing bits of champleve, the benetier lid opens properly.
It could serve today as it did in the past, near the door or a private devotional space. It is a radiant example of devotional art from the late 19th century and a marvelous work in champleve enamel.
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