Western Europe, Spain or Italy, ca. 17th to 18th century CE. A lovely cast-copper reliquary plated with thick gilding. This gorgeous piece features an applied circular copper foot adorned with 60% gold (equivalent to 14K), horizontal bands on its perimeter, and a gorgeous petaloid motif on top centered around a long stand that supports an openwork glass-faced quatrefoil. A small cross stands atop the quatrefoil as an intricate incised border and rope motif decorate its perimeter. Naturally presenting in a lustrous shade of gold, this gorgeous religious piece additionally features a discoid ornament halfway up its leg with 16 petaloid protruding ridges. A remarkable reliquary of fine detail. Size: 3.875" W x 9.625" H (9.8 cm x 24.4 cm); quality of gold (foot and stem): 60% (equivalent to 14K); total weight: 210 grams.
Relics - physical remains of saints or objects associated with Christ, such as pieces of the True Cross, the shroud His body was wrapped in, or the Holy Grail - held tremendous power in early Christianity. Reliquaries, objects designed to hold relics, were usually kept in cathedrals or churches, but some wealthy individuals were able to possess them. The less wealthy could purchase small reliquaries containing less precious items like soil from a holy site, or metal items produced as a form of souvenir from shrines. Later, many of these objects were destroyed in times of religious conflict or strife; ones that survived, like this one, have often been passed down through generations of families.
Provenance: private collection, Scottsdale, Arizona ex-estate of Eldert Bontekoe, Pegasi Numismatics, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, acquired before 2000
All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.
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Replace: PLEASE NOTE: Due to recent increases of shipments being seized by Australian & German customs (even for items with pre-UNESCO provenance), we will no longer ship Replace: most antiquities and ancient Chinese art to Australia & Germany. For categories of items that are acceptable to ship to Australia or Germany, please contact us directly or work with your local customs brokerage Replace: firm.
Display stands not described as included/custom in the item description are for photography purposes only and will not be included with the item upon shipping.
Glass missing on one side. Some loss of form causing slant to neck and unsteadiness of base, but form still clear and functional. Small piece of putty inside quatrefoil to hold the glass in place. Smudge and rough edges to glass with fading pigment in some small areas. Indecipherable writing on underside of base. Otherwise, excellent with warm patina.