Wednesday, April 30, 2014


 An interesting bottled whimsey that gives a fresh spin to the usual "ship-in-a-bottle" folk art. This crucifixion bottle, an ebay pick, dates from the early 20th century, and is quite an elaborate creation, featuring almost all the symbols of Christ's passion, all carved and cut from pine.
 The focal point of the bottle is a large serrated cross, and each facet shows allegorical and symbolic carvings such as a ladder, an anchor, a heart, a cross, and miniature crosses.
 This side of the bottle shows a rooster (associated with Peter's denial of Christ), a lance, a hammer, and a whip.
Turn the bottle around and you will see a pair of crossed swords, a shovel and a spear. The cross itself is trimmed with 3 criss-crossed serrated bars. Crucifixon bottles, as these are called in Europe and the U.S. were favorite folk art crafts done by local artisans and ordinary people during their spare time. There are also crucifixion bottles from the Philippines which were believed to have been made by Bilibid prisoners as part of their rehabilitation program. Regardless, all these bottles were made by deft and steady hands, requiring patience and many hours of perseverance to complete such folksy, collectible bottled art.

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