Old Saint Joseph santo, bulto

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Lovely old Mexican or New Mexican religious piece, a carved and painted Saint or santo figure. I believe this is Saint Joseph as it appears that he had something in his right hand and the flowering staff would have fit. Possibly arguing for a Mexican origin, his eyes appear to be “cascaras,” small glass pieces laid in with a pupil painted on the glass.

Where the wood is exposed, the old patina is lovely. Some of his early paint survives; red, blue and small bits of yellow and gold on his robe and cloak and you can still see the yellow burst with rays on his cloak near his right knee. He was once mounted on some kind of base but that’s long gone and there are remnants of glue on his underside. But, he stands and is currently about 7 1/2″ tall.

Note that he is in rough condition that attests to his life and use. Lots of old wormholes (nothing active now!), with substantial losses to his body and parts, including the front of his left foot, his left hand and much loss of paint. Note that there was a poor repair that glued his right hand back on. Really bad but it could be undone and reattached gracefully by someone competent. A beautiful devotional piece.

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