12.5" Child of Prague - Antique Irish Plaster or Chalkware Polychrome Coloured Freestanding Statue of Christ c.1920s - RS132
A beautifully made, antique plaster statue of The Child of Prague, made in Ireland at the start of the 20th Century. The statue is freestanding and measures 12.5" or 32cm in height, including the coloured plinth and is approx. 6.5" or 17cm wide and 4" or 10cm deep. This statue came originally from a small, rural Church in Ireland where it was occasionally accessible to the congregation. The condition is good; the decoration to the cloak, Crown and garment are all in fairly good order, with some small damages as might be expected; the Orb has had some colour rubbed off; the Cross on the Crown also shows white at the top and in general there are some losses to the colour. This Child has been repaired at the head, and the brake is still visible. We have not cleaned this item; he waits in original grubby condition for a new home.
The Child of Prague, or the Holy Infant Jesus of Prague as He likes to be called on formal occasions, has certainly been a figure of veneration in Ireland for almost 500 years. For the Irish people, it has been a particular object of devotion. Until well into the 20th century, almost every Catholic home in Ireland would have had a Child of Prague statue. The Child was introduced to Ireland by the towering figure of Francis Moylan, Bishop of Cork in the 18th century, and according to tradition
THE POWER OF THE STATUE IS STRONGEST IF ITS HEAD HAS BEEN KNOCKED OFF — BUT THIS HAS TO HAPPEN ACCIDENTALLY.
In Ireland, where we live, there’s a weather connection with the Child of Prague. You don’t want a fine soft day bucketing down on your wedding or your child's wedding, and part of the custom is placing the statue outside the bride’s house, under a hedge or bush in the garden to ensure fine weather for the Day. AND......when the G8 summit was held at the Lough Erne resort, a statue of the Child was placed in the grounds so the world leaders could appreciate the pastoral beauty of Fermanagh without being drenched. AND.... Legend has it, that if a 'little bit extra' is needed for the household finances, The Child will look kindly on you if you place a coin under the statue. We never mess with Legends.
Navan-born actor and former Bond star Pierce Brosnan engaged the help of the Child of Prague for his wedding to Keely Shaye Smith. “ It was August and I remember this old woman telling me we had to get a Child of Prague statue and put it outside the west corner of the building... So I staggered out after my night out with the lads and into the gardens of Ashford Castle. I found a hydrangea bush and put the statue in it.”
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