© Sandra Hendler 2016

I've never seen anything at all like this splendid reliquary which is French, & lovely beyond words. It's in miraculously beautiful condition for a piece which is approximately 184 years old. The dealer it was purchased from said it had been in the same family for generations. She called it a religious reliquary, but none of the usual religious symbolism is present. It looks more like something which was intended as a memorial or celebrated a wedding. A heart shaped cardboard box has lace all around the edges & the top is sumptuously decorated with little pearls & cunningly crafted tiny flowers made of paper, gorgeous tiny models of fruit (grapes, peaches, plums), gold metallic braid, lovely marcasites & mother of pearl. There are the initials OE & MC on either side of a red heart which is above what looks like a mother of pearl canopy bed & all are mounted on a shield shaped piece, with an urn above & decorative cornucopias on either side -with trailing flowers & fruit tumbling out of them. All of this is under slightly domed glass. The only flaw I can find is that one of the pearls is missing, otherwise-WOW-amazingly well preserved. The measurements are 5 inches wide by 6 & 1/8th inches long by 1 & 1/ 2 inches deep. The glass is in good condition as are the contents. It opens & is empty inside.It's a sturdy heavy box for cardboard ,though the pearls & paper lace are delicate & must be handled carefully. Click here to buy this item at my Etsy store.