This beautiful , French antique votive looks just like solid gold. However I believe it was made of ‘pomponne’ which is the French equivalent of the English pinchbeck. In other words this is an alloy of base metals made to look like gold. I am dating it to the late nineteenth century.
This votive would have been intended for the religious place of ‘Sainte-Baume’. In the Provençale dialect this translates at Holy Cave. This is where Saint Mary Magdalene ended her days. Following the crucifixion it is said that she and family members sailed in a fragile boat to France, landing on the south coast. Their mission was then to convert the natives to Christianity. After Mary Magdalene’s death her cave became a place of pilgrimage. This explains the votive which would have been hung there with a prayer.
This one is numbered ‘2’, so clearly there would have been more.
It measures 2” (5.2cms) by 1 and 1/16” (2.8cms) across the widest part. It weighs 8.2 grams
It is a representation of the flaming heart of Jesus. The flames are finely engraved. The heart has a corded frame. The edge of the heart is delicately engraved and in the centre is an M for Mary, surmounted with a cross. Around the top edge is inscribed ‘Sr De La Ste Baume’.
The reverse is plain except for the number ‘2’ and a ring for hanging.
This charming, religious piece is in fine antique condition with few signs of age. It will arrive in a gift box.
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French Antique Religious Mary Magdalene Votive
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