Antique 18th Century Spanish Double Face Monastery Work Reliquary
This Spanish reliquary dates from the early 1700s.
It has the very beautiful thick oval pendant form of a Spanish reliquary of the period. Fine hand tooled Spanish silver (.800) forms the sides and faces of each side of the pendant/box. Very fine hand tooled stars are interspersed around each face. The delicate design has worn with time and there is evidence of other marks and design elements that are very faint. A 1/8" wide silver hand tooled rope rests between each side; standing out from the flat side surfaces.
One side holds an engraving which has been carefully hand colored in vivid French blue and crimson. The figure is of Christ, who stands with a white dove above His head. Cherubim surround Him and the blue half moons represent heaven. A glass wafer is placed over the engraving ( a later period glass, not rock crystal; one small chip at the top right edge under silver rim).
The reverse side holds the relics which are placed under exquisite rock crystal glass (you can see the natural bubbles and indentations in the glass, it is thick with natural irregular form). It has been hand cut, the edges are visible under the silver frame. There is a very intricate hand cut paper frame which is accented by gilt outlines. The Saints names are written in red manuscript. The cutwork design is delicate with half moons, arabesques, and a central stylized rosette. Bits of red and gilt foil accent the cut work "windows" beneath.
There is a ring mounted at the top for threading a chain. It measures: 2" x 1 11/16" x 1/2" thick. It is good antique condition for it's age. Some ancient solder repair on the mid side, wear to silver designs on the frames as mentioned above. The rock crystal glass has natural flaws as mentioned above which is specific to this type of glass. The glass on the reverse side has a slight chip as mentioned above. The engraving is still bright with original details; the reliquary side is intact with original design and colors.
It is an exquisite early eighteenth century example.
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