A spectacular silver flacon, it was used to hold Holy Water. It dates towards 1880 and originates from a lifetime collection in France.
Flacons holding Holy Water were often carried by priests (in their pocket) for protection and for blessings.. They were also used as a vessel for bringing Holy Water to the sick or home bound.
It is a large flacon, measuring 4 1/2" tall. The heart shape has wide rounded edges which give more depth to the interior. The face is beautifully engraved with "AV, Ave Mary" in a very delicate curving font. Beautiful lilies with wide floating leaves flank the central initial. The neck of the heart has a fine beaded edge. The flame portion repeats this beading. The flame is wide with deep groves. There is a mount and a large ring for threading a chain or ribbon. It has the sanglier silver hallmark (in the top left portion of the flame, the mark goes into the curve of the flame and is not easily visible (as is typical of French hallmarks).
The total measurements are: 4 1/2" tall, 2" wide, 3/4" thick. It is in exceptional antique condition.
We rarely see large silver flacons such as this. It is an exquisite example with a very special place in devotional and religious history.