Spanish Silver Gilt Monstrance

  • This incredible Spanish silver gilt monstrance dates to the mid-16th century
  • The monstrance holds the Eucharist, specifically the sacramental bread
  • The quality and workmanship of this early monstrance is simply stunning
  • To find such an early silver masterpiece of religious significance is extraordinary
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-5040

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Monumental in history, artistry and rarity, this Spanish monstrance is without question one of the finest religious antiques we have ever seen. Crafted of gilded silver, the monstrance, or ostensorium, holds the Eucharist in a glass-paneled square container, elevated upon a beautifully-worked pedestal. The vessel rises to an octagonal temple enclosing the Mater Dolorosa (the imagery of the Virgin Mary in sorrow for the death of Jesus Christ) below the crucified Christ and features four ceremonial bells. Embossed and chased decoration, including fiery-tongued monsters and masks, covers this piece. An object intended for spiritual reverence, this monstrance is truly a work of inspired craftsmanship.

Surviving examples of the square Spanish monstrance appear to date from the early 16th to the early 17th centuries. The vessels were used in the Roman Catholic, Old Catholic and Anglican Churches to display the consecrated host at the annual feast of Corpus Christi and at the Service of Benediction. After the Council of Trent (1545-63), a period of intense self-examination for the Catholic Church, monstrances began to appear with sun-like rays, symbolizing Christ's regeneration and radiance. Similar monstrances from this period are held in the Varez Fisa Collection in Madrid and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Illegibly marked on the base and three panels; 5630 grams 

Circa 1550

8 1/2" square x 24 1/2" high
Spanish Silver Gilt Monstrance
Period: Pre-17th Century
Origin: Other
Type: Other
Depth: 8.5 Inches
Width: 8.5 Inches
Height: 24.5 Inches
Spanish Silver Gilt Monstrance
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