late 18th/early 19th c., prob. Peru or Alto Peru (Bolivia), a sacramentary lectern
the standing bird with out-swept wings, head bent to heart; book rest attached to back, 19"tall incl. the 11" square base supported by four angelic cherubs, ball feet, wing span 19"; approx. 148 troy oz.
The pelican pierces its heart in to feed its blood to its young. In Christian art this symbolizes Christ sacrificing himself for man. Sacramentary lecterns were placed on the altar during a Eucharist celebration holding the book containing the ritual words of the sacrifice of Christ's body and blood. A lectern of this quality would most likely been used in a cathedral or very wealthy church.
From the extensive collection of a Connecticut gentleman who lived in Latin America for many years. This is the third installment of this collection to be sold by CRN Auctions.