Early 19th Century Spanish Gilt Wood Cherub Angel Carving


In stock


This large finely hand-carved and giltwood Spanish cherub delights us with a joyful grin from between his chubby cheeks. With his left hand, he points forward. The fact he is pointing to the right suggests he might have been an ensemble from an altar or a display. With the right hand, he modestly holds his hand to his heart to represent God is always in his people’s hearts and souls. His wings are deeply carved expanding outward, flowing in the air, along with his hair. Draped across his plump body is a swag of material that flows down between his pudgy legs to function as a support structure.

Although there are various interpretations of cherub angels, the depiction of chubby, young children as cherubs occurred as early as the Renaissance era. The mission of cherubs is to help humans deepen their love towards God, in the purest fashion. Similarly, by mere observation of their innocence, children have the capacity to provide an abundant amount of joy and pure love to their parents. So, the connection to children became an easy one and is still a popular art form. During the Renaissance, the Italian artist, Raphael created characters called “putti,” which looked like male babies or toddlers, with wings or without. These characters continued to represent the presence of pure love.

Coming from Spain, this 19th-century carving is considered a Santo figure. A Santo (English: ‘saint’) is a religious statue that depicts various angels and saints, who are important in the Catholic Church. Religious figures like these were used on large church alters and nativity scenes at Christmastime. This angel would provide an element of Spanish Colonial design to any room. Or the perfect gift for a lover of angels, cherubs, and putti. Dress him up with tinsel for the holidays or a pink or red cloth for Valentine’s Day.

Additional information

Weight 10 lbs
Dimensions L 18 x W 23 x H 27 in
Style / Period

Religious, Spanish Colonial

Year / Century


Place of Origin



Wood / Gold Leaf


The wooden body, arms, hands, and feet are in good condition with no noticeable chips or missing parts. Still, there are imperfections and repairs. There is a pin knothole on his right cheek which looks like a mole. The gold gilt is worn in numerous parts throughout. There are remnants of green paint showing, through the wear on the gilt, on the cloth swag. The green felt pads on the soles of his feet were added recently to protect surfaces if he is to be displayed on a tabletop. You can also add a hook in the back if you wish to display him suspended. There are holes in the back between the wings showing where he was suspended from before. However, the wing area has been repaired. If handing, we suggest adding hooks to a new area that is stable. The wings are attached, nailed, and have a small wiggle indicating how fragile they are. Due to the fragile nature, special packing and handling will be required.

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