Secret Life of Antiques: How to Display Religious Antiques

Do you love collecting French Saints, Prayer Books, Madonna Statues and religious ephemera? They are some of our best~selling pieces, everyone seems to love them. How to display your religious antiques while still keeping a reverence for what they represent can be a challenge, here are some ideas to integrate them into your home decor.



1.  Shine the spotlight on one stunning work of art.  A single figure, like this Antique Old Paris “Evening Prayers” statue, looks beautiful placed on a shelf, inside a glassed in cabinet, or on your mantel.  Placed on antique French letters, surrounded by some antique French bisque flowers and antique wax flowers, this is a beautiful display all by itself.



2.  Group things together for the wow factor.  Antique French Religious Crowns, which were at one time used on Madonna’s in France’s cathedrals and village churches look wonderful displayed together as objet ‘d art, or you can display them lovingly on one of your Madonna statues or antique Santos. If you have a large collection, a glassed in shelving display piece filled with all your Religious Antiques looks gorgeous, and has the added benefit of keeping your treasures dust free while being visible from all sides.  Collections always look better when there are more of something, while one antique crown is fabulous, more of them make for a stunning focal point, and a collection!


3.  Combine them with other antique pieces.  A collection of rosaries is easy to see, and still right at hand when you display them in little antique caskets originally made for jewelry.  A little grouping of these kinds of boxes on a mirrored tray, for instance, allow you to show off the beauty of your favorite rosaries while still enabling you to take them out easily for use.


4. Arrange them in little vignettes to tell their story.  At home, we have a little vignette displaying some of my very favorite antique French rosaries on a Santos bust, with a votive candle, some flowers from the garden, and a few antique French religious books and missals.  It’s a very restful, meaningful display that gives me joy each time I look at it.


Another little display of various antique French religious pieces, below,  from our collection grouped together for a larger effect.


5. Take them outside.  Outside in the garden is another place to display an antique statue, here on our potting bench, the French Madonna is surrounded by natural elements, and a simple boxwood ring I made with a small candle.  A beautiful addition to the garden, and not just for holiday time.


Religious Collections are highly desirable, very collectible, and are valuable enough to be cataloged. A little notebook is all that you need to get started; a quick photograph, description, what you paid for it and the date purchased, and any information you have about the item will suffice.  Your religious antiques, if valuable, need to be insured, the “catalog” you have of your items will not only provide necessary information for any insurance claim, but this information will be treasured by family members who might inherit the one day.   I hope that you will fall under the spell of Religious Antiques like I have….I am constantly trying to seek out exquisite pieces in all price ranges for you. {and me, I’ll be honest, I do keep some for myself!}


If you want to romance your Home and Garden with antique and vintage treasures to make you smile each time you come home, visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.

4 thoughts on “Secret Life of Antiques: How to Display Religious Antiques”

  1. Beautiful! Just ordered my first religious antique, a statue, can’t wait to get it. Thanks!

  2. Sally Janyne

    The Madonna’s are so lovely, so serene and they have such beautiful expressions. Thank you for sharing these with us, I’m off to look at the website.

  3. I love the Virgin Mary statues, so pretty. Thank you for the tips on how to display, I always learn something new here.

  4. Beautiful!
    I have a friend that collects rosaries and hangs them from a barrel ring over her bed and with gauzy fabric draped above the ring as a canopy. It is beautiful!

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