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Victorian Crucifix Stanhope Pendant "Mont-Saint-Michel"

Victorian Crucifix Stanhope Pendant "Mont-Saint-Michel"



DATE: Victorian, c.1870

Victorian crucifix Stanhope from Mont-Saint-Michel, France. The body is carved from wood, with applied silver Christ and a Stanhope miniature photograph of the arrival to the popular pilgrimage site mounted at the top - look through the little porthole to see a magnified miniature photograph within. The Mont-Saint-Michel is an island commune off the north-western coast of France, used as a fortified stronghold at least as far back as the sixth and seventh centuries, and now an UNESCO world heritage site. Before the construction of the first monastic establishment in the 8th century, according to legend, the archangel Michael appeared to Aubert if Avranches and instructed him to build a church on the rocky islet. In the 11th century Italian architect William of Volpiano was contracted to design and build the Romanesque church of the abbey, boldly placing it at the very top of the mount (apparently an extensive collection of crypts and underground chapels had to be built to compensate for its weight). During the Hundred Years' War (1377-1453), England made repeated assaults on the Mont, but was unable to break through the fortifications - the island's resolute resistance inspiring all of France, especially Joan of Arc. From the the medieval period to present, pilgrims (known as Miquelots) have travelled, mostly on foot, from as far afield as Italy, Germany, and England; indeed modern pilgrims can follow the same routes their ancestors took with multiple hiking trails, spanning various European countries, now established.

Stanhopes (aka Stanho-scopes) were invented by René Dagron in 1857 as a way of viewing microphotographs without the need of an expensive microscope. In 1862, Dagron displayed the devices at the Exhibition in London, where he got an "Honourable Mention" and presented them to Queen Victoria.


4.4 x 2.4cm




No marks present


Good, light wear commensurate with age

Victorian Crucifix Stanhope Pendant Mont-Saint-Michel Victorian Crucifix Stanhope Pendant Mont-Saint-Michel Victorian Crucifix Stanhope Pendant Victorian Crucifix Stanhope Pendant

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