}); });

The Antique Thrill

A Closer Look at Christian Art and the Symbolism of Angels

The thrill of the hunt is so real when you go to an antique shop! I attend local and occasional international antique events, lockdown permitting. Heritage Antique Show is one of them, and I spend hours going through antique and vintage items, and I have discovered many treasures so far. There are a lot of reasons to buy antique and vintage. Thrift, value, and an appreciation for quality are excellent reasons to get down to the antique mall. But, there are some other reasons why going treasure hunting is so fun. We get to rediscover parts of our past while learning about history in ways that can be quite surprising. Antique pieces can decorate a home beautifully and bring character to any space I find.

Antiques and collectibles connect you to every era, no matter which year you were born. Even millennials will find things in antique shops that resonate with their childhoods. Every thrift store or vintage shop will contain items that remind us of being kids or that first school dance... In this way, going to the antique mall can be a bit of a field trip for grown-ups! Also, it’s enjoyable to see what items are priced at.

I have a particular liking for antiques as my sister, Elham Mostaghim Vasseghi, owns a charming antique shop in the most ancient city of Holland, Dordrecht:

Rose Garden Tea & Porcelain Dordrecht.

Filming of the movie The Scrooge from Charles Dickens in front of Rose Garden Tea & Porcelain Dordrecht

Rose Garden Tea & Porcelain Dordrecht has become a thriving Porcelain, Crystal Shop and a hub for antique lovers of all kinds, attracting local and international clientele alike. They offer countless decorating products, crystals and bone china of museum quality! All their items have been meticulously chosen and are so sought after, worldwide.

As this lovely and unique store, has an extensive collection of Christian Art, I wanted to take a closer look at them and explore them further, accompanied by pictures of those precious items.


Photography Courtesy of Elham Mostaghim Vasseghi

Art and Christianity

Christian art is sacred art that uses themes and imagery from Christianity. Most Christian groups use or have used art to some extent. However, some have had strong objections to some forms of religious image, and there have been significant periods of iconoclasm within Christianity.

Images of Jesus and narrative scenes from the Life of Christ are the most common subjects, and scenes from the Old Testament play a part in the art of most denominations. Images of the Virgin Mary and saints are rarer in Protestant art than Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Christianity makes far more extensive use of images than related religions, in which figurative representations are forbidden, such as Islam and Judaism.

The first centuries of the Christian Era were ones of extraordinary upheaval: the great traditions of the classical world were transformed by dramatic changes in the political and social structure, by continual warfare against invaders, and by the growing influence of the nascent religion Christianity. The trend of this period has been interpreted by some historians as the decline of civilization, but it is represented by its art as a time of cultural experimentation. Although they abandoned some of the realism of the classical mode, artists of the post-antique world continued to borrow from the repertoire of images of pagan and imperial Rome, ultimately creating works distinguished by spiritual grace and an abstraction of form. The innovative style that resulted from the coexistence of the Eastern and Western Empires, of the pagan, mystery, Jewish, and Christian religions, and of the urban and provincial societies was to determine the development of the Byzantine and then the medieval, artistic traditions.

A little bit of History

Christianity had a rough ride in the Roman Empire, especially during the first centuries of the millennium, which helps explain why so little early Christian art survives.

Christians provoked animosity because they refused to believe in the divinity of the Roman emperors. ''Much of the worst persecution of which there is reliable testimony was that initiated by Diocletian in A.D. 303, which included ruthless executions, torture, deaths in the arena and condemnations to imprisonment or to work in the mines,'' says ''History of the World: Prehistory to the Renaissance,'' edited by Esmond Wright.

Rise of Christian Culture, 300-600 A.D., ''These three centuries witnessed the slow decline of the Classical tradition and its eventual assimilation into a rising Judeo-Christian culture,'' Michael Ward, the gallery's directo