This is a charming example of a type of reliquary favored in France during the late 1800's. These small framed reliquaries were used in private devotional spaces and have an amazing diversity and individuality in design and from. This example comes from a small monastic collection.
The frame is of walnut which is luxuriously finished in black lacquer. The central chromolithograph depicts Jesus as a child, standing above a fallen cross. Surrounding this image is a frame of gilded "paperolles". There is an outer paperolle frame as well in form of repeating flowers and fleur de lis. There are four tiny "pearls" ornamenting this design. The background is red velvet and the entire design is sealed under a flat glass. There is an outer brass frame covering the glass. The back is sealed with black paper as is typical with this type of work. There is a small ring for hanging.
This piece is in very good antique condition. The chromolithograph is lifting very, very slightly (top left) from the background....this does not affect the visual aspect of the image. The frame is in good order as is the glass (no cracks or chips). The interior design is intact. The back is original. It measures: 5 1/2" x 4 1/4".
The image is especially charming, the coloring and gilded paper give the design a rich and glowing patina.
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