In the year 2021, the cathedral of Burgos celebrates its VIII Centenary. On this occasion, the city, with its archbishop Monsignor Mario Iceta at the head, pay tribute to him through the numerous activities promoted by the Foundation VIII Centenary of the Cathedral of Burgos.
A hundred years ago, the people of Burgos celebrated the seven hundredth anniversary of their cathedral. One of their initiatives bequeathed us an extraordinary set of gold and silver work, which can be considered one of the crowning works of our company in the time of our founder, Don Félix Granda.
It was Archbishop Juan Bautista Benlloch y Vivó who proposed to the chapter to endow the cathedral with a custody to perpetuate in memory the celebration of the centenary. The old monstrance that Juan de Arfe made in the 16th century for the temple had disappeared in the War of Independence, and since then it had not been replaced by another of similar category. The work was done by public subscription and there were countless contributions from the citizens, not only in money, but also in jewels and pieces that they wanted to see cast in the monstrance as a form of devotion.
Although several Spanish silversmiths presented their projects, the chapter finally chose the Talleres de Arte de don Félix Granda. The monstrance was not delivered until 1927, when it was blessed by the new archbishop of Burgos, Monsignor Pedro Segura.
The set consists of three pieces: the monstrance, its pedestal and a polyptych formed by five panels that serves as an exhibitor. Fifteen kilos of gold and nearly one hundred kilos of silver were used for its construction, in addition to platinum and other metals, ivories, enamels and nearly four thousand five hundred precious stones.. It is a rich compilation of the most refined artistic techniques of silverware of the time. But its value also lies in the richness of its theological message, since it is loaded with iconographic elements from the New and Old Testament, as well as with elements that allude to the architecture of the Cathedral of Burgos, such as the savages that bear its coat of arms.
The monstrance travels the streets of Burgos every year during the Corpus Christi procession. The polyptych was restored at the initiative of the chapter by our Conservation and Restoration Department in 2009. Since then, the ensemble can be seen on display in the cathedral museum.