This is an uncommon object,between a frame and a box, probably from the East of France,which was intended to receive the portrait ,or the photo ,of a deceased ,as a souvenir.
It’s made of walnut wood ,with a pretty patina that looks like mahogany.
The top makes you think to the pediment of a Greek temple.
This pretty reliquary opens thanks to two hinges and the interior forms like a frame to receive the portrait.
This one is empty.
The facade is decorated with five charming small carved wooden elements.
There is a covered vase in the style of Antique, a little angel surrounded by two decorative medallions ,each with an initial in the center, probably those of the deceased.
The fifth element represents a kind of big foliage.
These little pieces must have have been re-glued and slightly displaced a time,because we can see some traces of old glue around them.
For the sake of authenticity,I didn’t touch it.
Except a little lack of wood on the knots of the medallions,they are in good condition.
At the back there are two brass rings, linked by an old cord wire, which allow to hang the reliquary, as well as a small nail.
We can see that the wood is split in several places at the back,and that there is a small hole at the location of the locking system.
There is a little piece of metal on the top ,probably pewter,which is surely a very old repair.
But these small defaults are not really disturbing.
To open and close the box you have to push on a little metal button that activates the system,which works well.
Dimension of the closed box : 9’’ H x 6,4’’ L x 1’’ T (23cm x16,3cm x 2,5cm)
Dimension of the interior frame : 5’’ H x 4’’ L (12,7cm x 10,2cm).
This is a rare and touching antique object .
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Rare Antique French 19th Century Walnut Wood Reliquary Frame, Box.