Praying Woman Reliquary ~ David’s LeafOne day I picked up an antique book, written in 1869, from my bookcase, and out fluttered three perfectly pressed leaves. The book was inscribed “To David.” Maybe David collected those leaves while on a walk downtown with his sweetheart one crisp fall evening. Or maybe she scooped them up from the ground and handed them to him as a small bouquet, and he placed them in the book that was resting on the table next to their bed.
This praying woman reliquary features a vintage photo of a girl in green dress wearing a long black veil. Surrounding either side of her are alternating layers of beaded trim and gold border scrap. Two columns are on each side with a sheer dark gold curtain draped over them. The curtain is decorated with golden beads, hand-dyed variegated ribbon, and leaves.
The inside surfaces of the book have been spackled, textured, and painted with metallic paints of various colors. Sheets of mica preserve the leaf and are held onto the book with gold wire.
The cover is wrapped with dark gold paper and green trim that has been sewn with golden beads. A discarded gold colored belt buckle has found new life as the cover’s centerpiece.