This Antique carved and beautifully Hand-painted Santo/Bulto of St. Joseph and Christ Child/San Jose y el Santo Niño is a fine example of this genre, made in Mexico in the 19th century. The full-length figures are painted in detail; note the veins, for example on the hands of St. Joseph. St. Joseph wears an .800 silver crown. Real hair has been used to create the eyelashes of both figures. The top of the rectangular base features faux-painted marble. The figures are dressed with handmade clothing, even wearing long undergarments trimmed with hand-crocheted lace beneath the robes. The clothing is pinned in place with several straight pins. A mid-20th century white metal holy medal (7/8 inch high) is attached with a safety pin to the inside of St. Joseph’s cloak; it bears the images of a bust of Christ pointing to the sacred heart on the top front, a full-length figure of the Virgin Mary on the bottom front, and a half-length portrait of the Virgin Mary with Christ Child on the reverse. In our photographs, the Santo on its rectangular base rests on a round wooden base; the glass bell jar cover that the base once fit no longer exists and will not be included. Specifications: Carved polychromed wood, .800 silver crown, fabric, hair 13.5 inch high adult figure with 4 inch high child figure on a rectangular faux-painted wooden base ½-inch high x 4-3/8 wide x 3-7/8 deep. Crown 2.5 high x 2-5/8 inches diameter, unmarked and unsigned, but tests as .800 silver, 26.2 grams. Overall the condition is good given the age of this object. Some dirt is evident in both faces, the child’s hands, St. Joseph’s feet, and on the fabric. There are small losses visible in the painted hair of both figures. The forehead of St. Joseph has suffered paint loss and loss of gesso due to the rubbing of the crown. The index finger is missing from the child’s right hand, and the top of the index finger of his left hand is chipped. The cloak of St. Joseph has begun to separate in at least two areas (1/2 to 1 inch above the decorated hem). On the rectangular faux-painted base, there are some tiny chips to the wood and numerous small areas of paint loss.
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