The Custody of Arfe restored by Granda a year ago goes out in Procession for the Corpus Christi festivity.

Today, June 15, the feast of Corpus Christi, the Monstrance of Arfe from the Cathedral of Toledo, one of the greatest jewels of Spanish cultural heritage. Procession through the streets for the second time after its restoration, commissioned to Talleres de Arte Granda a year ago. After the procession, it will be taken back to the Treasure Room of the temple, its usual place during the year.

On October 16, 2015, Granda began its restoration work. under the supervision of the Spanish Cultural Heritage Institute (IPCE).. The task was entrusted to a multidisciplinary team made up of restorers, historians, silversmiths, chemists and gemologists, who moved to the Cathedral. They worked there for seven months to restore the monstrance to its splendor.

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The Monstrance is made up of three parts: an older one, made between 1495 and 1499 by the silversmith Jaume Aimeric and another one made by Enrique de Arfe between 1515 and 1523.

The oldest part (Jaume Aimeric, 1495-1499) is of partially enameled gold trimmed with pearls and precious stones and belonged to Isabella the Catholic. It has a height of 98 cm and a weight of 16.9 kg.

The part carried out later (Enrique de Arfe, 1515-1523), of flamboyant gothic style, has the form of a stepped tower and is partially gilded silver. It is 310 cm high and 107 cm wide and weighs, including the wooden base that serves as a seat, 370 kg.




Restoration work began on the complete disassembly disassembly of the 5,600 pieces and 12,500 screws that make up the Monstrance. In the complexity of its structure, the ingenuity of Enrique de Arfe, who conceived it so that it could be completely disassembled, is admired. It was made following the instructions left by the silversmith Vicente de Salinas, one of the first who had to face this challenge, at the end of the 16th century. This operation was so meticulous that six large drawers were necessary to store the pieces in an orderly fashion. The dismantling made it possible to carry out an exhaustive documentation. Observing a work of this magnitude disassembled was a unique opportunity for weighing, measuring and physical-chemical analysis of each of its elements.

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Each part of the custody was thoroughly analyzed in order to determine the best way to carry out its cleaning in order to remove the dirt deposited on the work, the varnish of previous interventions and the oxide of the silver. For this purpose, different mechanical and chemical techniques were applied, which we can apply today thanks to technological advances.

Access to all elements of the custody system has allowed us to perform a detailed gemological studyThe high quality and provenance of the emeralds and the magnificent asteroidal sapphire of the gold custody, from Colombia and Sri Lanka respectively, have been discovered.

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The following have also been examined enamels of the gold monstrance, of great beauty and originality and to proceed to the repair of the damage suffered by the passage of time. During the process, they have been reintegrated, with reversible material, so that their original appearance can be appreciated. In addition, the following were carried out replicas of the missing or damaged nuts and bolts in silver, and the repair The elements that showed any fracture were laser welded. Finally, the assembly was protected with a substance to prevent oxidation.



One of GRANDA's greatest contributions in the field of restoration is its ability to to form multidisciplinary teams with top-notch professionalsAmong them are its silversmiths. Its knowledge of craft techniques are key, especially for the intervention on the support and the mechanical alterations of the piece, which are always resolved by strictly observing the restoration criteria.

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You can see here the video of the restoration.

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28806, Alcalá de Henares,
Madrid. Spain
(+34) 91 802 36 55

Serving the Church with sacred art since 1891

Serving the Church with sacred art since 1891

C/ Galileo Galilei, 19.
28806, Alcalá de Henares,
Madrid. Spain
(+34) 91 802 36 55

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