Antique Eighteenth Century Italian Hand Painted Double Face Reliquary
An exquisite reliquary, it dates circa 1700. It originates from a small collection of eighteenth century reliquaries in France. This type of reliquary would have been custom made, either monastery or convent work. It was fashioned in a pendant form so that it could be worn with a chain or ribbon.
The oval face has the most gracious standing portrait of the Madonna. She stands with the light from God beaming down onto her right shoulder. Her robes are regal in brilliant sapphire blue flecks of gilt give a hint of nobility. She holds a cross in her right hand, lifted to heaven. In her left hand is a long piece of roped chain. She has a mantel of red with an Ermine collar. She lifts her eyes to heaven in contemplation.
The reverse side has a large hand cut rosette with a heart shaped center. Written in manuscript are the following names: S. Barbara, S. Columba, S. Victoiria, S. Concordix, S. Christophori, S. Bartholomei, S. Herculai, and Maria. The manuscript is in black and red ink with blue dots at the four quarters. The case is of silver plate (very tarnished to a dark patina). Each side has fluted edging which folds over the beveled glass wafers which cover the painting and cut work. There is a raised roping at the side joint of the front and back half. There is a central mount at the top with a ring threaded through it.
It is in very good antique condition: there is light scratching to the glass typical with age. There are no chips or cracks noted. The colors remain brilliant and all parts of each design are present. It is in solid condition with the upper mount attached securely. Please study the photos as they are the best description.
It measures: 2" x 1 5/8". It is 3/8" thick.
It is a fine, late seventeenth/early eighteenth century example.
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