THIS ITEM HAS SOLD*** Magnificent Large Napoleon III Era French Velvet Double Sacred Heart Altar Panel

**This item has sold.** A very long altar panel, it measures five feet, eight inches long and twenty inches deep (not including two inch boullion fringe). It dates from the period of Napoleon III, towards 1870 and originates from just outside of Paris.

The panel front is of fine crimson velvet, the backing is of crimson cotton. Hand-sewn hooks run along the short sides (this would have attached the panel to the altar (some hooks have either been removed or have worn off and the backing is missing from these areas).

Two extraordinary metallic gilt work embroidery appliques depict the pierced Sacred Heart of Jesus. Each heart is presented in stumpwork (an embroidery technique which adds padding underneath to create dimension and depth). Red embroidery thread depicts the wound and drops of blood. A silver metallic boullion fringe is intertwined across the hearts to depict the crown of thorns (NOTE: the heart at the right retains the silver metallic boullion but it has become untwisted from the heart: it is still attached but does not appear in it's original state). Each heart has many rays which radiate outward, each of which is hand ornamented by gilt sequins or paillettes. Small gilt metallic braids outlines each ray. The flames of the hearts are embroidered with gilt metallic cord, the crosses in silver metallic cord.

At the center is the Christogram IHS, the monogram symbolizing Jesus Christ. The initials are of metallic stumpwork and the outward facing rays are identical to the two heart appliques. There is a 1 1/2" gilt braid which forms a rectangular frame around the appliques. Two inches of gilt metallic boullion fringe embellish the bottom.

It is in amazing condition for it's age but with wear typical to use and age. The appliques need to be resewn in places, some missing sequins, some resewing needed to sequins in rays of the heart to the right, some spotting and color loss to the velvet: please view the photos carefully as they best demonstrate the condition: we are happy to provide additional photos, please do not hesitate to ask. The backing appears brighter than it looks in person due to the photographic light reflection.

It is an sumptuous example of religious textile ornamentation from the era of Napoleon III.

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