"Eglomise" is the term applied to the back-painted glass panels in these old French souvenirs. Most of them date 1800s, though they were made up through about 1910 in this manner, too. Later ones often have a photo set in instead. The early ones are our favorites, sometimes a screened ink-line like drawing that is then hand colored, or sometimes a full miniature painting original, all worked on the back side of a panel or convex plaque of glass. There are sometimes open spots left and a final step is application of thin mother of pearl panels so that the windows shimmer with pearlescent light, or architectural details are pearl - you can see how fun those are. I'm listing a whole collection from this genre, one at a time, so will just give the barest detail of each as we move through the collection.
This one is a holy font, one of the most fun forms. A pressed brass framework holds not only the eglomise souvenir panel, showing Sir de Notre Dame de Sion church. I think that first abbreviation is for "sisters", rather. My research tells me there are many locations for this name, even within France, but that this one is the Basilica at Saxon-Sion, in the Lorraine region of France.
Very good condition for age and type, there are no chips or cracks to the mother of pearl shell that forms the holy font, and no breaks to the ormolu or the glass souvenir panel. There is one dislocation area on the painting, as you can review in our images, and some old verdigris from polish build-up on the pressed brass that will clean up (mostly) with a little soft cloth rubbing or q-tip cleaning. Isn't it charming! And over 7" tall, a fun Catholic item.
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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