A beautiful example, adorned with shimmering clear and blue stones, it would have graced the lovely head of a large Santos Madonna statue. It originates from a small collection in Paris and dates towards 1900.
At one time even the smallest Catholic Parish had many adornments in the form of statues, reliquaries and brilliant bronze and brass ornamentation. In the mid 1940's the Pope ordered all things "unnecessary" to be removed from these small and large churches. These pieces found their way into the antique markets of France and into the hands of serious collectors.
This is a diadem crown intended for the Virgin Mary. The use of blue stones (blue for Mary) and the diadem form were specific to the Virgin. The body of the crown is a cast form in brass which has been gilded (as is specific to French crowns). The bottom band (encrusted with clear glass stones, one stone missing ) supports a beautiful design of repeating globes which alternate with fleur de lis. Each globe has an incised flower which holds (bezel set) a blue glass stone. The globes cascade in size from 1 1/8" in diameter to 5/8" in diameter. The three central stones are of a richer hue, the surrounding blue stones of a clear hue. Arabesques float across the top, set with clear and glass stones. The back band has three notches of adjustment.
It measures: 4 1/4" in diameter, 2 1/4" tall at the center. It is in very good antique condition: slight irregular bends to the bottom band typical with use; one small detachment in side arabesque typical with this type of crown (see photo three), a missing stone to band, a few replacement stones.
The predominance of blue stones give it a very regal appearance. It is a sumptuous crown with a rich antique history.
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French Antiques: 19th Century French Smalls: Sewing, Religious, Bronze Figures-French Books and Bindings