Antique 19th Century Mother of Pearl and Silver French Figural Communion Crucifix

A superb antique First Communion crucifix, it has four pictorial silver mounts at the end of each arm. It originates from Paris, France and dates circa 1900. First Communion crucifix were one of the gifts a child would receive which included rosaries, prayer books, religious statues, icons, and holy cards.

The history of this ceremony states "Traditions of celebration surrounding First Communion usually include large family gatherings and parties to celebrate the event. The first communicant wears special clothing. The clothing is often white to symbolize purity, but not in all cultures. Often, a girl wears a fancy dress and a veil attached to a chaplet of flowers or some other hair ornament. In other communities, girls commonly wear dresses passed down to them from sisters or mothers, or even simply their school uniforms with the veil or wreath. Boys may wear a suit and tie, tuxedo, their Sunday best, or national dress, with embroidered armbands worn on the left arm and occasionally white gloves".

The detailing and symbolism of the double face pictorial mounts are exquisite. At the top a small child stands to receive the First Communion. At the left is a beautiful profile of Jesus, at the right is a profile of a young girl. At the bottom is a small winged cherub who sits with his chin on his hand with a reflective expression. The silver end caps have a rich design of double scrolls.

The silver figural Crucifixion figure is mounted at the center on top of a mother of pearl cross. You can see the mounting pins on the back of the cross. The mother of pearl shell reflects rich hues of ivory and the clear hue of crystal. There is a silver ring which threads through the top mount which would have held a fine chain. The measurements are: 2 1/2" x 1 7/8", the figure of Christ is 3/4" long. It is in very good antique condition.

It is one of the most beautiful crucifix that we have found to date, which has provenance to a very sacred ceremony in one person's life.

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