Easter, Sacred Holiday                                         

By Clinton J. Holloway

 

As Peter Cottontail is now preparing for his annual journey down the bunny trail, this week we will look at the sacred and the secular observations of the Easter holiday, both of which have a rich tradition in the antiques collecting world and that of the decorative arts.

 

For many families the one antique that has been passed down from far distant generations has been the family Bible. In the days before mass printing of books, often the only tome a family would own would be a Bible. From a family Bible children were taught to read and the milestones of life – births, death and marriages - were recorded. Booth T-365 offers such an example of one of these; it is a huge family Bible, weighing in at several pounds, with both color and monochromatic plates (photo, right; $96.50).

 

On the day before Jesus’ crucifixion, he observed with his disciples what is known as the Last Supper, which introduced the observance of Communion or the Lord’s Supper. Later that night Jesus prayed alone in the garden. Both the “Last Supper” and “Jesus Praying” have been popular themes with artists for both the church and home decoration.

 

Today we can find many wonderful examples of these scenes. Booth 225 in the original GasLamp has three different areas, all of which specialize in sacred objects. A lovely depiction of Jesus praying, in a rounded top frame with Gothic accents to the matt, can be purchased, ready to hang, for $146 (photo, left). Also pictured is a large plaster statue of the Sacred Heart Jesus for $285.

 

In Booth 225’s location in the main concourse, one can find many other decorative pieces of the sacred nature, both wall art and three dimension objects. Among these is a large rendering of the Infant Jesus of Prague wearing a white satin gown, holding a blue orb. In the Roman Catholic tradition the Infant of Prague was thought to hold miraculous powers and was especially significant for veneration by expectant mothers (photo, right).

 

Of course, the most famous mother is Mary, the mother of Jesus. The two are often pictured together as “Madonna and Child” another popular religious motif. The lovely porcelain example pictured here measures over 12 inches tall, the base of which conceals a music box. Booth 225 has it available for $69 (photo, left).

 

The Easter celebration carries with it the themes of life and triumph, expectations and new beginnings. It is a time that has inspired artists to create things of beauty for centuries. And at GasLamp, shoppers might just find something that beautifully reflects the holiday for them, too.

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