Thursday, May 8, 2014


Miniatures are a big collecting field in the U.S.--there are dolls, furniture, figurines, decor of all sorts--all in Lilliputian size, available to collectors. This set of altar vessels are more unusual, in that they are seldom seen, and if made available, carry quite a hefty price tag.  Standing no more than 4 inches tall, the set includes a pair of cruets, ciborium, chalice and what seems to be a reliquary or a monstrance.
Made of cast metal plated in bronze, the sacred vessels date from the early 1900s and were made in France. Similar ones, of pewter or tin, were also manufactured in Germany. Though small, the vessels are highly detailed, with "repousse" designs on their bases. They were designed for use in home altar, for a priest's altar table or even for dollhouses.
Examples sold on ebay are indivudually priced anywhere from $20-$250 each, but I was lucky to stumble upon this 5-piece set, with a very low starting bid. At the end of the bidding period, I had them all for just under $60! Sing hallelujah to the Lord!