This small fruitwood panel is a lasting remnant of a 17th century tabernacle. A tabernacle is an ornate cabinet often used in Catholic churches and typically placed above an altar. The church would place vessels related to the Eucharist, often a ciborium or a pyx, behind the door. Tabernacles usually had locking doors to keep the sacraments safe, and this little board was likely inset within a larger molding on the front door.
The panel has been hand-carved in highly detailed relief by a master woodworker. A large cross that terminates in curled acanthus leaves dominates the façade. Beneath the crossbar is a pair of S-scroll acanthus branches, one on each side of the cross. You can display this very old fragment as a piece of sculptural artwork anywhere or incorporate it into a decorative box, making it one of the panels.
CONDITION: Traces of old wood worm. Minor losses, fleabites and nicks as seen in photos