Ex-Voto Hearts

Collecting Ex-Votos

One of my favorite things to collect are Ex-Voto hearts. I have posted a few picures of my collection on Instagram and have always had a lot of questions about them, so I though I would answer the questions I frequently get. 

 

Ex-Voto Heart Collection

1. What are Ex-Voto hearts?  Ex-Votos (also known as Milagros which is Spanish for “miracle”) are religious folk charms that are traditionally used for healing purposes and as votive offerings in Mexico, the southern United States, and areas of Latin America. They are frequently attached to altars, shrines, and sacred objects found in places of worship. Milagros are also carried for protection and good luck.

2. What are Ex-Votos made from? Ex-Votos can be constructed from gold, silver, tin, lead, wood, bone, or even wax. They also come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For example, as seen in my collection some can be flat or fully three-dimensional.

Collecting Ex-Votos

3.What are some common shapes? The most popular shape, of course, is the heart, but animals and body parts such as legs, hands, ears, eyes and even organs are given for different purposes. For example, a milagro of a leg might be used, or offered as part of a prayer for the healing of a leg; or it might refer to a concept such as travel. Similarly, a heart might represent ideas as diverse as a heart condition, romance, or any number of other interpretations. I personally only collect the hearts.

 

The-history-of-ex-voto-jewellery-and-paintings-in-Italy-body-parts

 

4. Where can I buy Milagros? Ex-Votos/Milagros have become so popular in the last several years that tin reproduction can be found at your local home decor stores. I have listed a few of my favorite Ex-voto heart reproductions that you can purchase below.

Click affilate links to purchase

Ex-Voto Heart

 

Ex-Voto Silver-Sacred-Heart

 

Ex-Voto Set

 

Milagro Heart Set

 

Ex-Voto on Stand

 

 

Mother of Pearl Ex-Voto on Stand

 

Ex-Voto on Stand

 

 

Ex-Voto on Stand

 

Framed Sacred Heart

 

 

Framed Sacred Heart   

 

 

 

Framed Ex-Voto

 

 

Framed Sacred Heart

 

 

 

In addition to religious and ritual applications, Milagros are often found as components on jewelry, and other home decor items. One of my Sid Dickens memory blocks that I collect (that will be another post) is a sacred heart. When it comes to ex-votos, there is something for everyone.

d203c768e6fd4782c167c785d459a109
Sid Dickens Memory Block

 

5. What’s your story on collecting Ex-Votos? I’m so glad you asked! My mom started collecting them several years ago. I remember when we were on vacation in Santa Fe, NM we walked into one of the fabulous stores on the square and saw this wall covered in all kinds of ex-votos. At the time, I must admit I thought they were creepy. However, over the years the hearts have become the apple of my eye.

 

Ex-Voto Collection

I hope I have answered some of your questions. Then next time you are out shopping, keep your eye out for these fun little treasures.

vitale3
Picture from Pinterest

11_heart_wings_graphicsfairy copy

Jamie

Comments (22)

  • I have never heard of ex votos and never seen these pieces. They look absolutely amazing, vintage and intrinsic to collect.

    Reply
  • What a fun collection. I love all of your hearts and that would be what I’d collect as well. I want to check out a couple of your suggestions.

    Reply
  • You have a unique collection, thanks for your informative post I have learned about them.

    Reply
  • I love your little collection of ex-voto hearts. I didnt know the origins but its a great collection for you to have!

    Reply
  • I don’t think I’m familiar with this but after reading this post, i’m very much interested! I think they’re lovely and it would be nice to be able to see them in person, I’m sure they’re even more beautiful!

    Reply
  • I’ve never heard of these, but they sure are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • Ok I have never heard of these hearts before, but I’m heart obsessed!!! You now have me wanting to start my own collection

    Reply
  • Oh I didn’t know about these and all of the shapes they could be. It’s cool that your mom started a collection you’ve been able to build on.

    Reply
  • I had no idea what Ex-Voto hearts were. What an interesting thing to collect! The body parts look a little bit creepy but your hearts are really beautiful!

    Reply
  • Thank you, I’ve learnt something new today. I’d not heard of ex-votos before and am really fascinated by them and their use.

    Reply
  • This is first I’ve evcr heard of ex-votos, but they are very beautiful!

    Reply
  • I’ve never heard of Ex-Votos but I can see why they’re collectible. They definitely add charm to a room.

    Reply
  • Your collection of ex voto hearts is so beautiful. They are off the vintage, perfect for the decor.:)

    Reply
  • Those little treasure are breathtaking! They’re all stunning and unique! Especially the Sid Dickens Memory Block looks different for me

    Reply
  • I’ve never heard of these, but they sure are beautiful! I love the mother of pearl Ex Voto on the stand.

    Reply
  • I have always fond ex votos because of their cultural resonance and connotations fascinating but I have never owned one! This looks fab!

    Reply
  • I have never heard of them before, thye are so beautiful. I really like your collection and that mother of pearl stand one you have listed. Going to have a look into getting one as I love the whole concept behind them. The healing ones could make such a unique and lovely gift for someone rather than the usual grapes

    Reply
  • Fun learning about these & how you got started collecting them, as I guess there’s always a story behind what we collect, LOL

    Reply
  • That was a unique collection and would want to have even one of those to be placed in my living room for decorations.

    Reply
  • I have seen hearts like these, but I never knew they were anything but decorative. Thank you for the information. They are lovely.

    Reply
  • I live near Santa Fe and I need to check out this store. These hearts are kind od pretty

    Reply
  • Oo I really like this. How pretty! I will keep an eye out for them.

    Reply

Write a comment