"The jhs or ihs monogram of the name of jesus (or traditional christogram symbol of western christianity), derived from the first three letters of the greek name of jesus, iota-eta-sigma ". The two tone finish on the face is rare. The brass form is usually gilded in full; in this case a silver wash had been placed over the face, then a second gilt wash over this.
The engraver has buffed away the last gilt wash was over the initials and the palm fronds; allowing the silver to shine through. This give a marvelous textural appearance to the engraved adornment. The face has a "bullnose" frame on the edge. A twisting braid of brass has been added as an outer frame.The flame is delicate and deeply grooved. The back repeats the same bullnose frame. The flame has a fine mount, with a metal ring for holding a chain or cord. The neck is made of triple ring sections. The interior is heavily gilded, forming a compartment into which a thanksgiving or prayer (written on a small paper) would have been held. It measures: 2 1/2" x 1 5/8" x 5/8 thick.
It is in beautiful antique condition: the patina is bright and the detailing clear. The outer rim edge of the bottom lower left "lip" has wear and is uneven (it looks like perhaps the heart was shut tight and a tool was used to open it). This causes the voto to close with a tiny gap at the bottom. A part of it's history as an antique.
This particular christogram is rare to find on a sacred heart. The special use of silver and gilt is also rare, suggesting that this was a custom made ex voto which would have been donated to a parish, monastery or convent.