My late-bride collected a number of impressive and unique religious artifacts and decorated around the house with them where they fit in. I have a number of statues that I recently found in storage that should find new homes. In addition she actively collected Milagros. I have these items below that have been put away for 15 to 20 years. In addition I have an 1877 Shadow Box that I purchased after her passing. It spoke to me, I bought it, but have not found the right place to hang it on display, so am making that now available to the next conservator as well.


Directly below is a china/porcelain statue made in Germany by ORLIK. It measures about 9 inches tall, and the irregular base averages in diameter about 2 1/2 inches – $25

The green glass decanter or pitcher above measures about 13 1/4 inches high, and the base is around 4 inches in diameter. This appears to be hand blown into a mold based upon the ridges and the base – but I could be wrong. A rather unique item to use for a special wine serving, or even as a bud vase – $30

A chalk ware Mary, colorful and with glitter accents. Measures about 13 inches high and the base is about 4 by 5 inches. Some typical faint chipping and wear. A great piece to adorn most any spot in your home – $30 – and a close-up below.

Three smaller Mary statues – Mary on the Blue Base measures about 7 inches tall. Made of plastic by “STAR, NYC, USA” – In the middle is a plastic Mary with FATIMA on the base, and it measures about 5 1/2 inches tale – and on the right is a china Mary, about 7 inches tall. $8 each, or all three as a lot for $20.

A devoted reader emailed saying, “I believe it is Our Lady of LaSalette.” This resin cast stands about 9 inches tall with a base measuring about 2×2 inches. Lovely robe, Crucifix on neck and Crown on head. An impressive piece I think – $25

This glass depiction of Mary has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. Heavy and measuring about 7 inches tall with a base 4 inches by about 1 1/2 inches. Only a partial maker’s name label remains on bottom. Partially frosted. Wish I knew more of the history of this piece to share – $35

Best for last – large chalk ware Grotto with Mary being adorned, and a removable votive candle. Made by the Penna. Statuary Co., Inc. (c1930s from my research) it measures about 14 1/2 inches high and the base 5 1/2 by about 8 1/2 inches. Some light rubbing and chips, few spots touched up with coloring. My “galleries” may be clicked for larger images to view.

Price on this treasure, due to the minor flaws, is $95.

1877 Catholic Crucifix ‘Tools of the Passion’ Shadow Box

The plaque at the bottom center in gold printed on black reads “Thy Kingdom Come, 100 days of indulgence each time – Pius IX 14th June 1877”.  This shadow box is about 22 inches by about 17.5 inches and weighs about six pounds. In an ornate Victorian frame that is now painted silver. I have seen a number of identical pieces priced from $350 to $500.

From a Vintage Catholic website: This detailed crucifixion scene is surrounded by symbols of the events and tools of Christs Crucifixion, also known as the Arma Christi. The lower half of the background print depicts the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene at the foot of the Cross.  The interior is lined in satin and accentuated with silk flowers. This website also lists the symbols used in the presentation/box and their meanings. These religious shadow boxes were sold as a 19th century fundraiser to people wishing to purchase absolution from sins and would supposedly buy the purchaser less time in purgatory. Essentially a little known (and now not widely discussed) marketing tool used by the church to raise money.

A unique historical artifact that brings into light the darkness of the crucifixion. Shown in the box (some say made to be recessed into a wall) is a detailed crucifixion scene with “The Weapons of Christ” (symbols of the events and tools of Christ’s crucifixion), also known as Arma Christi. The interior of the box is lined in satin with silk flowers strewn along the bottom. An art print of the Blessed Virgin Mother and Mary Magdalene at the foot of the cross while behind them lays the city of Jerusalem. The crucifix is wood with a gilded metal corpus and halo. Some of the items in the box include: Pillar – where Christ was scourged Reed – placed in Jesus’ hand as a sceptre in mockery INRI – Issus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum (Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews) Holy Grail – the chalice used by Jesus at the Last Supper (Joseph of Arimathea caught his blood after crucifixion) Dice – Roman soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ robe Rooster – crowed after Peter’s third denial of Jesus Vessel – used to hold the grail and vinegar Ladder – used for removing Christ’s body from the cross for burial Hammer – used to drive the nails into Jesus’ hands and feet Pincers – used to remove the nails. Vessel of Myrrh – used to anoint the body of Jesus Shroud -used to wrap the body of Jesus before burial Bag of Money – thirty pieces of silver (price of Judas’ betrayal)Lantern – used by arresting soldiers at time of betrayal Swords and Staves – used by Roman soldiers Sword – used by Peter to cut off High Priest servant’s ear.

Price (because of the silver paint) – $225.


Milagros (also known as an ex-voto or dijes or promesas) are religious folk charms that are traditionally used for healing purposes and as votive offerings placed on church statues, alters, shrines, or other sacred places. Usually found in Mexico and Latin America. Usually they are purchased in churches and cathedrals, or from street vendors just outside. In the late-1990s my late-bride actively collected these. She met one jewelry designer who would make jewelry from the various pieces. That designer sold my Cathy a massive collection, Cathy also collected many other examples, both in silver, cast metals, and pressed tin. I have yet to count the number of pieces nor compile a full listing. I do have receipts for most of her purchases, that total over $2,000. I will eventually count, and illustrate some of the finer examples. Many of the pieces were removed from statues, and are labeled where found, and show some smoke from the burning candles. The various shapes indicate what is being prayed for: heart trouble, etc. This collection must be seen – $1,500

If you are interested in any of these items, do get in touch with me.
Thank you for looking, yours, RAY
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