RARE Antique Eighteenth Century Silk Framed Monastery Work Reliquary/Ex Voto Saint Jacobus

A rare and authentic example of eighteenth century monastery work, this beautiful reliquary honors St. Jacobus. This reliquary comes from a small eighteenth century collection residing in France. It dates towards 1790.

This reliquary would have been carefully created by either a monk or nun in the eighteenth century. This type of work was done within the religious orders and offers great individuality and artistic perfection with the limited materials of the time. This example is exquisite with a painted image of St. Jacobus which has the quality of fine manuscript paintings. The central image is a very delicate paper lace Holy Card. The central lace medallion has a vellum medallion which bears a fine hand painted image of Saint Jacobus. The image is richly detailed in the regal hues of Royal Blue, rose, golden yellow and deep pink. The artist has used these same hues to paint tiny flowers on top of the lace. Hand applied gilt forms a curvaceous frame atop the paper lace around the central painting. A large cartouch made of rose and deep rose scrolls provides a banner for the manuscript name, S. Jacobus.

The image has been set under glass and placed in a silk frame. The base of the frame underneath the silk is hard paper board. The silk has aged and frayed with time giving it a beautiful honey-colored patina. Exquisitely formed gilt metal braid flowers fill each compartment of the design. Four gilded metal braid boullions ornament the corners. The back of the frame is lined with red silk (edges are frayed). There is a slate blue ribbon which threads through a wire loop for hanging.

The reliquary measures 8 7/8" x 6 7/8". The paper lace Holy Card measures 4 5/8" x 2 3/4". The small hand painted medallion measures 1 1/2" x 1". It is in good antique condition in consideration of it's delicacy and age. The Holy Card has been protected behind glass and is in excellent condition. The frame shows it's age but is in sound condition. Some of the metal braid needs to have the ends affixed (should the final owner want to do so....the frame is fine as it is).

This is a fine and rarely found eighteenth century example of monastery work. It is a precious part of religious art of the period that is worthy of a fine collection.

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