On May 11, 2010, Benedict XVI, during the outdoor Mass in Lisbon, before almost 200,000 people, challenged the Portuguese to begin preparations for the centenary of the Fátima apparitions. Leitão & Irmão subscribes to so significant an anniversary by recreating, in silver, gold and precious stones, the famous crowned statue of the Chapel of the Apparitions at Fátima.
To faithfully reproduce a small image of Our Lady of Fátima, Leitão & Irmão used the original moulds – which are in the possession of Luciano Thedim, nephew and disciple of José Ferreira Thedim who, in 1920, was responsible for the original statue.
Thus, using the 1920 moulds, Thedim carved from Brazilian cedar wood the same piece of the Chapel of the Apparitions, of a size suited to a piece of jewellery . The work of reproduction of the wooden sculpture in silver took place in 2012/2013, using a manufacturing technique – patented by Leitão & Irmão – which ensures perfect reproduction of the wood in silver.
Diamonds in the mantle reproduce the mirrors present in the original statue of Our Lady at the Chapel of the Apparitions.
With regard to the crown, the original of the 1946 mould of the Precious Crown manufactured at the Casa Leitão workshops was also used, in order to allow the maximum possible fidelity in its miniature reproduction.
The Precious Crown, placed on the statue of Our Lady on the anniversary days of the apparitions, is made of gold, studded with a variety of precious stones: diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, amethysts, turquoise and pearls. All these precious materials are carefully reproduced in the miniature.
All the jewellery work involved in making these crowned Images of Our Lady took place at the century-old workshop of Casa Leitão & Irmão – exactly in the same spot where, in 1942, the original crowns were made.
The tradition of Casa Leitão & Irmão – former jewellers of the Crown as from the late eighteenth century – was further reinforced in 1942 with the design and manufacture of the crown of Our Lady of Fátima.