An Unusual Spanish Holy Water Stoup
An Unusual Spanish Holy Water Stoup
An Unusual Spanish Holy Water Stoup
An Unusual Spanish Holy Water Stoup
An Unusual Spanish Holy Water Stoup
An Unusual Spanish Holy Water Stoup
An Unusual Spanish Holy Water Stoup
An Unusual Spanish Holy Water Stoup

An Unusual Spanish Holy Water Stoup

1600 to 1800 Spain

Offered by Finch & Co

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An Unusual Spanish Holy Water Stoup Formed from the Sea Shell of a ‘Tridacna Gigas’ with an original border of Brass
Late 17th - Early 18th Century

Size: 20cm high, 61cm wide, 32cm deep - 8 ins high, 24ins wide, 12½ ins deep

Provenance: Ex Private collection Herefordshire Catholic family

cf: A very similar example in the Cathedral of Santa Domingo de le Calzado in the Province of La Rioja, a Church on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela
Also a pair of more ornate Baroque examples in Saint-Sulpice Paris given to Francis I by the Venetian Republic and mounted on rock work bases sculpted by Jean-Baptiste Pigalle
In all Roman Catholic cathedrals, abbeys and churches there is a stoup by the entrance, a recessed bowl often of stone or marble containing blessed holy water. Entrants to the church dip their fingers in the water and cross themselves with it. The stoup is a descendant of Jewish customs of ritual washing of the hands, face and sometimes, feet. These customs were carried into the earliest churches which placed a fountain at the entrance for washing. Over time it came to be believed that the size did not matter as the washing was purely symbolic, and so the fountain became the stoup. The stoup is therefore used to express the persons, wish to be spiritually clean before entering the church.

Medium
Shell, Brass
Finch & Co

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