This is a large pendentif sacred heart, which would have been worn on a long chain hanging to the waist. Prayers for loved ones suffering in life or sickness would have been placed inside, the heartfelt concern kept safe within the sacred heart of Mary. This beautiful ex voto originates from a small collection found just outside of Paris. It dates towards 1880.
Pendentif ex votos are normally found in a petite size of 1-1 1/2". This example measures three inches in height! It has a very curvaceous form which gives a pronounced appearance when worn on a chain. The face is simply engraved with a block font "M" for Mary with a large cross rising from the center. The cross is embellished with tiny individual engraved lines which give it texture and depth. There is a cast ring at the top into which a second ring is threaded. The heart opens to reveal the chamber which would hold a handwritten prayer.
It is in good antique condition: some loss to patina as is typical with age and use, five tiny indentations on the back typical with use. It opens and closes properly.
It is a especially beautiful in it's simplicity. It would be exquisite worn with an antique black velvet ribbon or old chain. The size of the heart is perfect to hold in the palm of a hand, when offering prayers in private devotion.
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French Antiques: 19th Century French Smalls: Sewing, Religious, Bronze Figures-French Books and Bindings