THIS ITEM HAS SOLD *** Antique Eighteenth Century Spanish Convent Work Ex Voto Reliquary with Madonna and Child
During the 18th and early 19th century, reliquaries were made in convents by using scraps gleaned from donated books and clothing. The sisters took great pains to create these small devotional pieces, combining many elements to form a multi layered object.
The voto is uses a protruding oval at the back, which has a shadowbox effect. The 1/2" deep box interior has been adorned with an exquisite hand colored engraving depicting the Madonna and Christ Child. Rich hues of yellow, blue, red and green bring vivd life to the two figures. A burgundy scalloped braid forms a frame around the lithograph (hard to see unless you look through the glass sideways). The interior of the box is lined with beautiful hand printed 18th century paper. The face of the reliquary is formed with a hand cut paper board frame, ( 1" wide at widest point of scallop) which was covered in blue silk (faint remnants remain giving the surface a watercolor appearance). Flowers and leaves of coiling metal cascade upward on each side. There is a large crown at the top center formed by metal coils. A sliver of mica, which is placed over a red paper, gives the appearance of red jewels. There is a fine crimped gilt metallic braid outline the outer and inner edge. A oval of hand blown, cut glass (you can see the tiny bubbles) is set under the scalloped frame, giving a magnifying effect to the engraving below. The back is lined with green paper with a pattern of small white dots. There is a lovely pink ribbon at the top for hanging.
It measures: 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" and is 5/8" deep. It is in very good antique condition: darkening to metallic trip, wear to silk as mentioned above. There are no cracks or chips to the glass. The hand colored engraving is still brilliantly colored with all design elements visible.
This is an extraordinary eighteenth century example of Spanish convent work.
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