Lourdes Madona Ex-voto, Devoutness Walking Cane, France circa 1900
The height of the handle taken from below the display-case is 15 cm high x 30 cm to the side x 3,5 cm thick. This original piece is a estrange combination among Folk-art and bourgeois. It is a whimsical composition of medals, cut glass and metals, inserted in the wood, the most notorious is the display-case which contains a gilded image of Our Lady of Lourdes Madonna, covered with glass. There is a light blue faceted-glass adorning the extreme of the crook, giving it a theatrical illusion of source of light to illuminate the Madonna, a gilded medal of the Sacred Hearth is placed behind this glass. An old medall with the symbol of the Military French Grenadiers is on top of the handle. The dots of the branch are highlighted with inserted pieces of cut-glass in different colours. The O.L. is 91 cm and it has at the bottom a copper and bone tip, with no cracks, the condition is excellent.
An ex-voto is a votive offering to a saint or to a divinity. It is given in fulfillment of a vow (hence the Latin term, short for ex voto suscepto, "from the vow made") or in gratitude or devotion. Ex-votos are placed in a church or chapel where the worshiper seeks grace or wishes to give thanks. The destinations of pilgrimages often include shrines decorated with ex-votos.
Ex-votos can take a wide variety of forms. They are not only intended for the helping figure, but also as a testimony to later visitors of the received help. * Wikipedia
Our Lady of Lourdes is a Roman Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary venerated in honor of the Marian apparitions that reportedly occurred in 1858 in the vicinity of Lourdes in France. The first of these is the apparition of 11 February 1858, when 14-year old Bernadette Soubirous told her mother that a "lady" spoke to her in the cave of Massabielle *Wikypedia.