This beautiful Italian sacred heart was found in a French collection just outside of Marseille. It is bears votive acronyms PGR, (Per Grazia Ricevuta - For Grace Received). It dates towards 1890.
An ex voto represents a vow, a "solemn promise that supplicants make in a moment of great hardship, to give public thanks to a particular saint or the Virgin Mary if intervention is achieved to avert disaster". The voto itself is "the concrete testimonial of that vow's fulfillment, an object that stands as the material representation of the miracle itself". Ex votos were also offered as outward thanksgivings for unexpected miracles in the lives of the faithful.
Originating from a fine professional metal work atelier, it is a beautiful example, cast in three parts from molds. The two halves of the heart were cast from bronze which has been gilded to achieve the exceptionally brilliant patina. The hand cut brass/copper script initials were attached to the top half of the heart and the two halves were soldered together at the sides. The top surrounding ormolu mount is cast from hand cut bronze/copper. The design of this mount is simply elegant: two cascades of delicate scrolls and flowers form festoons which flank the flame. Deeply grooved, the flame has a curved mount at the back for threading a ribbon or chain.
It measures 2 5/8" tall, 2 1/4" wide and 1/4" thick. It is in very good antique condition. Because of the brilliant patina it reflects all things around it..we attempted to portray this piece with as little reflection as possible. The silver solder joints are original to the voto's construction.
It was fashioned in a size that fits perfectly in the palm of a hand, to hold during prayer and devotion. It is an unusual example with a sacred history.