October 6, 2011

Global Seminars & Invited Speaker Series


Sumptuary arts in Cascante

D. Ignacio Miguéliz Valcarlos.
Chair of Navarrese Heritage and Art

The three churches of Cascante, the parishes of La Asunción and La Victoria, and the Basilica of Nuestra Señora del Romero, hold an interesting collection of silverware gathered over the centuries. However, this collection of silverware is only a reflection of the past, since the town of Cascante was sacked on two occasions, in 1710, during the War of Succession, by the troops of Archduke Charles, pretender to the Spanish crown, and later in 1808, by the French army, during the War of Independence, which resulted in the loss of most of the silverware treasured in its churches.

Due to the geographical status of Cascante, in the valley of the Ebro and the southern border of Navarre, the temples of Cascante will place their orders with silversmiths from Zaragoza and Tudela, with very few orders being placed in Pamplona. This is reflected in the pieces that have survived to the present day, where we can see that the majority of those with marks are from Zaragoza, followed by the works from the Tudela center, and only one set with punches from Pamplona.

Due to the looting that Cascante suffered, most of the preserved pieces are very simple works, which respond to the usual typologies usually present in Hispanic temples, mostly shaft pieces. Thus, a large group of chalices has been preserved, ranging from the first half of the 16th century to 1900, in which we can see the structural and decorative evolution of this subject of pieces through the different artistic styles, from the Gothic of the first half of the 16th century to the historicist styles of the end of the 19th century. Continuing with this subject of pieces, there are also ciboria and reliquaries, as well as monstrances, among which a magnificent example of the mid-eighteenth century with punch of Zaragoza, carved in gilded silver, with a profusion of decoration based on alternating plant elements with cherub heads, and with a double virile framed by bursts of straight and flamed rays in the ostensory. And next to these works we find various examples of other typologies, such as navetas, cruets, crucifix holders, crucifix holders, hostiaries, lamps or scepters, the latter, a set of four, with the only marks of Pamplona present in the works of Cascantina. Also important is the chapter of crosses, both altar and processional, among the first a magnificent example of reliquary from the first half of the sixteenth century, with a fine engraved work of plant elements along the arms, and pedestal added in the mid-eighteenth century. While among the second ones there are two baroque specimens from the 17th century, the first one is an unornamented work that follows purist models, and the second one with the arms of the cross made of rock crystal with silver settings in the square and Crucified, and cannon of the same metal, both added in the first half of the 19th century. And finally two sets of crowns of the Virgin of the Rosemary and the Child are guarded, the first a very restored Baroque work, and the second made in Pamplona by the Astrain Jewelry for the coronation of Our Lady of the Rosemary in 1928, and paid for by popular subscription. It is a set of crowns for the Virgin and Child, halo and rostrillo, which follows historicist models, carved in gold with gemstone settings, and enamel medallions inscribed with the coats of arms of Pope Pius XI and Isidro Gomá, bishop of Tarazona, diocese on which Cascante depended, as well as those of Navarre and Cascante, along with eight medallions with allegories of the litany of Lauretana.

Cascante. Parish of the Assumption. Custody

Cascante. Parish of the Assumption. Monstrance. Anonymous. Saragossa. Second quarter of the eighteenth century. 

Cascante. Parish of the Assumption. Set of four scepters

Cascante. Parish of the Assumption. Set of four scepters. Miguel de Irizibar. Pamplona. 1817