An absolute jewel, this tiny sacred heart ex voto measures only 1 5/8" tall. It originates from the south of France (convent collection) and dates towards 1890.
Through the centuries, saints and mystics have meditated on the heart of Jesus as a fount of spiritual passion, joining their hearts with His. In the 17th century, Saint Margaret Mary devised an emblem for the devotion, a wounded heart surrounded by a crown of thorns. This emblem represented the Devotion of the Sacred Heart and passed through the centuries to the 19th century. In France, a Sacred Heart box was created, with an inner chamber for holding intentions, thanksgivings or prayers. These beautiful Sacred Heart ex votos were objects of devotion which were often given to the local parish in thanksgiving for prayers answered. Each surviving example is a testament of devotion and faith, of prayers answered or requested and of heartfelt love and faith in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
This exquisite sacred heart is of gilded brass. It is small, of a size which is in the minority of Sacred Hearts found in antique markets today. The central initials, "SJ" stand for the Society of Jesus which is a Jesuit Order. There are engraved palm branches on each side. The engraving is well done with hand tooled horizontal lines filling in the outlined spaces of the initials and leaves. The flame is delicate and detailed. The back of the voto has a mounted ring which would have been threaded on a chain. This example would have been worn underneath clothing as a personal devotional piece. At the inner side the word, "depose" is stamped ( a French patent mark from the late 19th century).
It is in very good antique condition: the patina is brilliant, it opens and closes properly. The total measurements are 1 5/8" tall, 1" wide and 1/4" tall from the tabletop.
It is a rare, tiny example bearing the (not often found) initials of the Jesuit Order.
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