ANTIQUE 19thC AUSTRIAN SILVER-GILT & ENAMEL RELIQUARY, REINHOLD VASTERS c.1870
Antique 19th Century Austrian rare solid silver-gilt & enamel reliquary, shaped ebony base on four rock crystal ball feet, set back, hand painted enamel plaque depicting St. John and St. Anne after a painting by Raphael, flanked by a twisted rock crystal column, entwined with gold wire. The sides adorned by winged mythical beasts. Bodies painted white with gold coloured hair. The ebonized wooden construction, richly applied with various coloured enamel and precious stones. The base set with three hidden draws to store religious relics, these may be the purported or actual physical remains of saints, such as bones, pieces of clothing, or some object associated with saints or other religious figures.
The distinctive design of this piece is inspired by the top section of the magnificent and much-copied Augsburg house altar, made in 1573/4 by Abraham I Lotter and David Altenstetter for Albrecht V, Duke of Bavaria (1528-1579).
It can been seen that the present work comes from the workshops of Reinhold Vasters in Aachen as certain elements, such as the white bodies, gold hair, the detailed enameled pierced work and champleve inlay resemble those on the model of Solomon's Temple designed by Vasters (see Christie's London, 12 December 2000, lot 73.)
Some minor damage to the wood, please see photos.
Width: 17 x 5.5cm