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Relicarios

Devotional lockets, often two-sided, that contain images of the saints, Christ, or the Virgin. More… The custom of devotional lockets traces back to medieval Europe and the cult of relics. In Latin America, however, these "reliquaries" rarely contain relics of the saints. Rather, they are devotional miniatures bearing portraits of the saints, Christ, or the Virgin. Most typically, the favorite images are painted on tin, silver, wood, mother of pearl, or paper and encased in a silver bezel. Both sides of the locket have images. The rendering of the saint may also be a print, a bas-relief sculpture, or a drawing. Genuine antique relicarios are very rare. Many reproductions are currently being made in especially Peru and Bolivia. While often well-painted, these lockets are frequently and falsely described as being antique or Spanish Colonial. Caveat emptor.