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Simply Sacred

We are releasing a few lovelies...as is - not as a component in a finished jewelry piece, but rather standing alone in their own incredible beauty. Pendants to add to your Sanctuary, to put into shadow boxes, to lay on your vanity, on a book, to put into a stand, to hang on your wall, to string with a ribbon and wear - the options are endless and the choice is all yours.

Large Hallmarked Antique French Sacred Heart Ex Voto -- A Beautiful Piece of Art & History.

Sacred Hearts originated in the 11th century and were most widely used during the 19th century in France and Italy as prayer and/or devotional items. Notes, prayers and devotions were placed inside and the reliquary was then hung on the wall in a church or home sanctuary with hope that the prayers would be answered and devotions acknowledged. These pieces are so special and are imbued with love and hope.

This particular ex voto is a well over 100 year old reliquary that was a very well loved and a much used devotional piece. There is evidence of its use by way of wear, small imperfections and patina and the markings on it date it. This sacred reliquary was made by hand in France and dates back to the 19th century. The date is validated by the French Hallmark "Depose", a French patent used prior to 1900, located on the lip, on the right side of ex voto.

The Sacred Heart is very large, measuring just shy of 4" tall. Exact measurements are 3-7/8' x 2". It is made of brass and the front and inside are plated in gold. The face is beautifully engraved with palm fronds flanking the letter "M", for Mary and a cross representing Jesus. The work is meticulous, beautiful and all hand tooled.

The flame is completely in tact and the channels are deep. The sacred heart opens in the style of a locket. Inside is roomy and is meant to hold prayers, intentions, devotions and small treasures. The hanging ring on the back is also original and in tact, ready to be strung with a pretty ribbon or chain of your choosing.

The piece is over 100 years old, and there are some imperfections -- While the piece closes securely, it does not close to a perfect fit. This is not something noticeable or unpleasant visually, but we want to disclose all imperfections. The reason it does not line up perfectly lies in the inner rim, specifically the upper right side looks as though it were bent at one time and someone tried to straighten it. (see the second collage, the photo in the lower left - look carefully) That area does not line up perfectly and there is a slight resistance around the hinge when opening wide. If you want to bring it back to perfection, any reputable jeweler would be able to straighten it back to the original shape - we did not want to take any chances on changing the shape and didn't want to make any changes to what we think is beautiful in its own right.

The gold plate has worn off over time in 2 small areas by the hinge as well as a few areas of the inner chamber, exposing the brass underneath. (see photo collage 2 below)

There are two impressions/indentations in the back of the body of the heart - it looks as though they are thumb impressions where the ex voto would have been held and prayed over. We do not see any of these things as flaws, but rather as character and a testimony of the age and use of the sacred heart, making it even more unique and special. It is the nature of antiques. It is a story that is told through its individual wear through the centuries.

Overall, the piece in its entirety is in good antique condition. As mentioned, we have cataloged the notable wear mentioned above in a collage that can be enlarged for detail. We have also included a collage of random beautiful details so you can see more of the ex voto. If you have any questions, please feel free to open a conversation with us through email at info@greyfreth.com

Additional Images:

Beautiful Details

Imperfections, Wear and the Beauty of Time and the Elements.

Item #: GFJ-PEND01
Overall Dimensions: 3-7/8" x 2"