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This is a Baroque silver and wax reliquary pendant, dating to the 17th century. It is set with an “Agnus Dei” of Pope Innocent XI. The wax is set behind a glass lens. The back is decorated with faience glazed and painted scene of Jesus from one of the Stations of the Cross. The medallion is untouched and in original antique condition.
Papal blessing or consecration of wax medallions known as Agnus Dei. Made from the previous year’s Paschal Candles from Rome, they were blessed on the Wednesday of Easter Week by a Pope in his first pontifical year and thereafter every seven years. It was also a way of producing a tangible consecrated link to the Holy See for the faithful to use when in peril. These wax medallions were eagerly purchased by pilgrims for their magical and protective qualities and often set in elaborate frames of gold or silver like this.
OBJECT: Reliquary Pendant
CULTURE: Italian Baroque
DATE: c. 17th century from 1676 - 1689 AD
MATERIAL: Silver, faience & wax
SIZE: 66.34mm (with bail) x 47.05mm x 11.02mm
WEIGHT: 32.98 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. European Private Collection, France.