This beautiful giltwood tabernacle or reliquary was made in Italy during the 1600’s. Our tabernacle has a stepped crown molding and an arched top that is typically indicative of Catholic cabinets (as opposed to other Christian churches).
The front façade is adorned with a diapered background beneath a series of scrolls, flowers, and curled leaves. Beneath the crown, a large cherub head, carved in low relief, sits atop a pair of wings and a curled ribbon. The eyes are directed down towards the tabernacle door. The door has a pair of nestling birds on top of an angular sunburst, known as “Vergina Sun”. The door opens on iron hinges to reveal a small interior cabinet, which was most likely used to store relics.
Both sides have arched panels embellished with different décor. The right side of the tabernacle has a lozenge diaper background beneath a leaved grapevine. The opposite side has similar diaper underneath a bundle of wheat that stands on top of a book.
Our 17th century giltwood tabernacle from Italy can still be used as a religious reliquary or a small cabinet. The back has two brackets installed for hanging purposes, meaning it could be hung on a wall as a piece of decorative art and convenient storage for small items.
CONDITION: Wear commensurate to age and use with age separations. Some rubs and losses to gilding with old gold touch-ups. Losses to door as seen in photos, and no key. Newer, yet still antique, hardware has been added to the top and back of the tabernacle.