French goldsmith, Paten of Pius IX

French goldsmith
Museo dell'Ottocento
Original location
Cathedral, treasure
Silver, gold
Gilding, engraving
Diameter: 17 cm;
Silver, gold

This paten in gilded silver, engraved with an image of the Holy Trinity, was donated in 1871, along with the chalice of gilded silver and precious stones seen alongside. Although the two objects differ in style they were both given to the Florentine Metropolitan, in the person of canon Eugenio Cecconi, for the post he received as historian of the Vatican Ecumenical Council I. Cecconi in turn donated the paten to Gioacchino Limberti, archbishop of Florence, for use in the liturgy as the property of the Chapter. The paten bears a punch mark with the initials JW, of an as yet unidentified silversmith, possibly of England or France. The object, of great artistic quality, has a rich and highly symbolic decoration, unusual for the 19th century. Along the border is a sort of crown of thorns made of flowering thistles, while inside, in lighter bas-relief, we see the Holy Trinity among angels, depicted according to an archaic neo-Renaissance iconography, as seen for example in the fresco of Masaccio in Santa Maria Novella, or in the altarpiece of Botticelli for Convent of Sant’Elisabetta delle Convertiti (now in London). God the Father is shown as an elderly bearded man with a crowning tiara, who supports His Son crucified, smaller; between them is the dove of the Holy Spirit.

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Museo dell'Ottocento