Antique Mater Delarosa, Devotional Carving, c1750 to 1800, Spain

Sir Raffles Art & History is Charles Mandel’s collection of antique Santos and ethnographic collectibles, mostly carved wood. See current selection on Etsy:

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Mater Delarosa (Mother of Sorrows) is one of three traditional art themes of a suffering Virgin Mary. The second theme is the Stabat Mater, Mary standing under the cross of the dying Jesus. She usually appears on the left hand side; the apostle John on the right. The third theme is known as the Pieta; the body of Jesus being cradled by the Virgin Mary.

General: Carved wood Sorrowful Madonna with metal halo.

Condition: Original polychrome and gold decoration. Some loss of paint, minor damage. One star, for example, is missing. 28″ x 13″ x 5″.

Comments: For the period after the death of her son, Jesus, Mother Mary is commonly referred to as the Mother of Sorrows or variations upon that. Rare now in Christian religious art, the theme of the suffering Mary was once quite common. This Spanish example movingly conveys Mary’s anguish.

Whatever the culture, there can be no more important art than that used as an aid for communicating with the divine. I have always found devotional artifacts fascinating to collect; there is no better way to connect with a past culture than through the objects that were important to it. Collecting santos figures is particularly gratifying. The subject, the style and the methods of production combine to tell the tale of what the individuals in that culture valued.


I have been collecting artifacts and religious objects for many years, specializing in Asian and European vintage carvings. Don’t hesitate to ask about other stock that I might have that is not listed here.



Materials: wood,polychrome

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