I recently acquired some postcards and two of them were of Saunière's original demon. The images are the best quality photos of the demon I have seen so far. Saunière's Demon is now commonly referred to as Asmodeus, the legendary guardian of Solomon's Treasure. But there isn't any proof that this was Saunière's intention.
The demon and the basin of water he is supporting, and the four angels above him, form the Holy Water Stoup. Religious visitors to the church will dip a finger in the Holy water and make the sign of the cross. As mimicked by the four angels.
Saunière's Rennes-le-Château Church Original Demon Postcards
In 1996, someone entered the church and for some reason gouged out one of the demon's glass eyes. Someone, perhaps even the same person, later returned the same year and smashed the demon's head and broke off its arm.
The Damaged Demon from Sauniere's Mary Magdalene Church in Rennes-le-Chateau
The statue was later repaired but the result did did exactly match the original design.
Saunière's repaired Demon
For a while the Demon was encased in a clear perspex prison to prevent it from being vandalized again.
When comparing the original and modern demon the diffirences are obvious.
Saunière's modern repaired Demon and the original Demon design
The length and angle of the arm is different. The circle formed by the hand in the repaired demon seems to be slightly larger than the original.
The Demon also once held a pitchfork in its right hand but was removed as it kept snagging women's closed as they passed by. The pictfork is now lost.
Sauniere's Demon reunited with a pitchfork
The book plate is made up of two images pasted onto a background.
The image of interest here is the one labelled 'ASMODEE or Asmodeus in english. It portrays a male angel holding a Devil or Demon in chains. Seem familiar?
Saunière's Bookmark compared with the Church Demon
The label reads:
GRAVURE TIREE D'UN LIVRE DE L' ABBE SAUNIERE
Engraving taken from a book of the priest Saunière
From this, although the bookmark seems to have been made up for the Rennes-le-Château museum, it is possible Saunière copied the image from the book to create the demon seen in his church. Full Bookmark article here
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