Dating to c.1800, I am thrilled to present the first of three early reliquary jewels for the consideration of my Ruby Lane clientele!
Measuring 1 3/4" including the bail x 1 1/4" x 6 mm thick, this wonderful, wearable silver reliquary cross bears Vatican hallmarks, and contains it's original relic as well as a portion of the original papal seal! This classic reliquary features a hand-cut crystal, beneath which is set a tiny parchment cross against a red silk woven ground. Atop the parchment is what appears to be small splinters of a Relic of the True Cross, but it is my understanding that such an important relic would normally be set in rock crystal, so this First Class relic may represent splinters from another tree sacred to the High Church.
The reliquary opens by means of a tiny screw at the foot of the cross. However, this is certainly a First Class relic, as the contents are intact, and there is a red wax papal seal backing the relic! Moreover, this cross is marked with the crossed keys of the Vatican Workshops, so it had to pass muster through the top levels of the Church! The reliquary is wrought from sterling-grade silver, and is completely intact. The only sign of wear after well over 210 years is a crack to the top of the hinge, but this is perfectly in keeping with a devotional jewel that has been cherished for more than two centuries. This could easily be stabilized by a lapidary for little cost, but I have taken this bit of wear into consideration when setting my price.
This cross has not been cleaned, and boasts a rich, almost gunmetal-colored patina to the silver. The cross could easily be polished up to it's original shining glory by the new owner, but I strongly advise against this, as the untouched patina is a testament to the great age of this devotional jewel. Suitable for wear by a lady or a gentleman, this historic reliquary and relic represents an important opportunity for the collector of Vatican workshop relics, and it looks splendid worn on a simple silver chain.
Weighing in at 4.39 grams, this lovely devotional jewel is certain to please any lady or gentleman who loves the best in high-Church relics. It would also make a wonderful Easter or confirmation gift, and will be shipped in a gift box. Do not miss this historic rarity; I never expect to find another, up to 30-day layaway is available, and USPS Priority mail shipping is FREE!
Your Specialists in Fine Jewelry and Decorative Arts from Antiquity - 1900. Est. 1987.
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