Antique French Reliquary, 1800's
A glorious and extremely rare antique French reliquary for eleven saints, mid 19th century.
This exquisite reliquary that was just discovered in April of 2021 in the South of France is remarkable in its sacred beauty, an astonishing design and profound meaning. This is a majestic example of a grand reliquary created for a private home during the 1850's, containing relics of eleven prominent saints placed within an ornate and delicate pattern of "paperolles" or quilling - also known as paper filigree which is an art form that involves the meticulous use of strips of paper [often from old books with gilded edges] that are rolled, shaped and placed together to create intricate decorative patterns. This is an ancient technique used by nuns in European monasteries to create devotional object such as this splendid reliquary. The central part holds a stunning hand coloured image of the Blessed Mary holding the child Jesus surrounded by relics found among floral quilling including:
Saint Simon Stock
Saint of the Martyrs
Saint Marie of the Incarnation
Enclosed in a wonderful gilded frame with roses the reliquary measures about 40 x 34.5 x 6.5 cm or approximately 15.7 x 13.6 x 2.5 inches and it is in great antique condition with minor signs of ageing of ageing [mainly seen in a minute loss of the gilding and a tiny chip of frame]. However in my opinion this only brings forward its true beauty and splendour today as well as provide its authenticity. It is exactly as I discovered it. For the full condition please refer to the images!
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