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Standing Angel Holy Water Font

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Artifact Description

The excavation of the SS Republic produced a number of porcelain angel figurines along with five examples of a standing angel holy water font. The angel featured appears to be of indeterminate sex, and stands on a small, irregularly-shaped rectangular base to the front of which is attached a small water font, possibly in the shape of a shell. The hands are clasped together against the chest, with wings outstretched vertically. The angel wears a short tunic, covered by a long robe that is open at the front. The feet are bare. There are no traces of gilt or pigment. The method of manufacture is unknown, although the wings and font were probably cast separately from the main body, to which they were later joined.

Research suggests the cargo of porcelains aboard the vessel, including these angel holy water fonts, were very likely the product of one of the many French porcelain manufacturers producing such wares for the American market. The production of religious objects, also referred to as church goods, was extremely competitive; comparable examples were sold in America by various 19th-century dealers, many of whom were Catholic publishers and booksellers, as well as manufacturers and importers of religious articles.

Replicas of this artifact are available for purchase here.

Other Details

H: 7.0 cm

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