Antique French-Vietnamese Catholic Crucifix
A beautiful antique item from Vietnam that reflects the Catholic presence of France in that country over 150 years ago. Since the early 1800's France was heavily involved in Vietnam with the pretext of protecting Catholic missionaries. France continued to grow its new colony which eventually formed French Indochina in 1887. France continued to rule Vietnam as a colony until their defeat in the Indochina War which allowed Vietnam to claim independence in 1954.
It is a widespread practice in Asia to have a religious shrine in one's house: Buddhists have Buddhist shrines and Christians have Christian shrines. When a family is wealthy enough Buddhists will have a private temple in their house; Catholics a chapel. All of the ecclesiastical objects we have were component parts of such shrines/chapels. A family would de-acquisition an object only when the family believes the object no longer carries the significance it used to, when they find other objects of greater meaning or when they need the money.
This crucifix measures: 20 1/4" x 11"