The original item from La Chapelle Privee is now SOLD.
Antique Nineteenth Century Framed Souvenir Reliquary Ex Voto
A beautiful souvenir devotional, it originates from the Abbaye Fontgombault and is dated 1899. The Abbey of Notre-Dame de Fontgombault (Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Fontgombault) is a Benedictine monastery of the Solesmes Congregation, built in Romanesque style, located in Fontgombault in the département of Indre, in the province of Berry, France.
This type of reliquary, destined for a personal home or to be used in travel, was popular from 1870-1900. They were hand fashioned from brass, glass, metal, fabric and in this case a chromolithograph image. This type of voto is very individual and an extremely interesting bit of devotional history.
This example has an oval metal back plate. The inner design has been placed on a black fabric background. A bit of gilded dentelle braid encircles the inner design. Two fabric (gilt threads) appliques flank either side of the lithograph. The two color lithographs depict the Madonna with the Christ Child and the Abbaye of Fontgombault. There is a thick domed glass placed over the design. A hand worked brass frame seals the different layers of the voto into one piece. There is a large ring mounted at the top of threading a chain or to use in hanging.
The voto is in very good antique condition: the tarnished brass frame is dimpled and irregular: consistent with hand work and age. The color lithograph of the Abbaye has faded slightly with time. Both lithographs retain good detailing and clarity. The motifs are in place, there is darkening to the gilt braid and flower motifs typical with dust and incense smoke going under the glass. The back metal plate is worn which is typical with time and use.
It is an interesting voto as it is dated at the bottom, 1899, giving it a specific place in history. The black smoke residue which has floated to the interior give such sacred provenance.
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