A santos or Madonna crown in repousee brass with glass stones
CONDITION: does show signs of wear and use and 1 missing crystal
SIZE: 2 ins h at centre front x 4 ins diameter adjustable (5 x 10 cms)
MATERIAL: brass, glass stones
This lovely santos or Madonna crown was intended to decorate a statue of the Virgin Mary or a saint in a French church. It was probably made in the late 19th or early 20th century.
It is made in hammered brass in an elaborate repousee design. Set into the front is a large faceted crystal in oval shape, surrounded by a border os smaller roundels. Placed on either side are motifs which appear to represent the papyrus flower.
The crown has a single row of large crystals where it rests on the hair or head of the statue. Above this are placed papyrus motifs with crystals set at salient points in the design. Still more crystals decorate the sides if the crown in a mixture of roundels and ovals.
Santos crowns take their name from the Spanish word “santos” meaning saint. They were made to adorn statues of the Virgin Mary and saints in local churches and were usually made from gilded brass, adorned with glass jewels. Around 1940, the Pope ordered the sale of all items in the Catholic parishes of France that were not "completely necessary". Santos and Madonna crowns, along with vestments and statues, were unceremoniously sold into the antique markets. Many were snapped up by collectors and have since become very rare.
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