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San Geronimo or Saint Jerome #1, 19th C., Nicaragua
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Antique wood carved santo of San Geronimo or Saint Jerome is often depicted genuflecting on a rock/cave with a lion on his knees, a stack of books with a skull on them. His body is usually in a skin and bone state. If his hands are still present he will be holding a rock and inflicts injury on himself as a sacrifice to God. It measures 7-1/2" high by 3” wide by 3 " deep at the base and weighs 6 oz. This late 19th century image has had its years. It may have been repainted quite a few times. It has a shiny patina and the yellow paint on the base is not original but is very old as well. Original painting would have had a different color scheme addressing the difference between the cave, the lion, books and skull. A very interesting figure for collectors who love this type of art. The statue will emit a ticking sound when shaken which led me to believe that it is indeed a "relicario". Notice that the base is split in half and two nails are driven to the side of it. His hands may have been repaired and added to during the years and notice that his right leg sticks out from the body of the carving. This only adds to the mystifying composition of this figure. Provenance is Masaya, Nicaragua.