During the mid to late 19th century, in France, this genre of reliquary was popular for use in private devotional spaces, or to be taken along on a voyage. This beautiful and large reliquary originates from just outside of Troyes, France and dates towards 1880.
This piece is convent work, in which the nuns used fabric motifs (from wealthy ladies donated clothing) and a polychrome die cut image (which were popular in all forms of images). The back is made from an oval metal panel. The side is formed from a wide, 1/2", band of brass. The image is placed on a black fabric background. The gilded fabric appliques flank the central die cut image. At the top there is a banner which reads, "De Sainte Anne de Auray" . There is a thick piece of hand cut glass sealing the reliquary into a box. There is a ring on the back for hanging.
It measures: 4 3/4" x 3 1/2" x 1/2" thick. It is in very good antique condition: There is some cloudiness to the glass from dust gathering underneath. The brass side has tarnished (this could be polished), the interior design is original and intact. The colors of the die cut image are brilliant. The back has worn and aged due to temperature changes and use. There is very light scratching to glass typical of age and use.
It is a very lovely and authentic large convent work reliquary.
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Devotional Textiles, Paintings, Sacred Hearts: Santos Crowns: Reliquaries:: Monastery Work: Ex Voto: Crucifix