This item has SOLD*** RARE Antique Nineteenth Century Italian Paperolle Reliquary with Three Hand Painted Medallions
***THIS ITEM HAS SOLD***A magnificent example it dates circa 1835. It originates from a very fine French collection purchased in Paris.
This type of reliquary box is typically Italian. The two parts fit together encasing the reliquary work and forming a sound object which could have been used for voyages or for private devotion.
The reliquary design is worked on a flat oval which is of hand cut brass/metal. The background of the reliquary field is covered with red foil, green paint, and embossed gilded paper. At the center is a large medallion of the Madonna and Child which is hand painted on bisque porcelain. The detailing to the faces is especially well done and the colors are rich and brilliant. There is a large, hand cut glass stone beneath the porcelain wafer.
To the left and right, two windows are formed by "columns" (the columns are made of rolled purple foil paper with gilt foil accents). There is a smaller hand painted oval medallion depicting a Saint (the name is written on the scroll below but cannot be discerned). To the far right is a third hand painted medallion which depicts the crowned Madonna. The hand painted Madonna is simply beautiful with a reflective countenance. Her robes are in sumptuous hues of crimson and sapphire. The bisque wafers are thick, 1/4". The two at the left and right are framed by silver roping.
Gilded wooden frames create a temple effect which frames the entire design. Gilded paperolle work is placed around the outer edge as well as worked in festoons above and below the central Madonna and Child. A hand cut glass wafer is placed over the design, resting within the metal channel of the top half (the glass has moved slightly, showing the edge and leaving a 1/8" open space on the left side at the 10 o'clock position.....this is normal with this type of reliquary of advance age). There is a large "heart" shaped mount at the top for threading a ribbon or chain.
It measures: 4 1/2" x 4" x 3/4" thick. The large bisque medallion is 1 1/4" x 5/8", the two smaller ones, 1" x 3/4". It is in amazing condition for the age (over 220 years). There are missing bits to paperolle design as is typical with this type of work. The bisque medallions show no cracks or chips (the Saint medallion has darkened a bit at the top part of the head). The glass has shifted slightly as mentioned above. Please study the photos carefully as they clearly represent each detail of this incredible work.
This genre of reliquary is extremely rare.
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