Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fabulous and Rare Six Decade Antique German Rosary with Skull and Crossbones Crucifix

This is such an unusual rosary for quite a few reasons. First, it is a strung rosary from Bavaria in Germany. For centuries, all rosaries were strung- the linked wire rosary is actually a rather modern invention from the 1700s or slightly before. Looking at most early European paintings, you'll see people holding or wearing large strung rosaries. This tradition remained until very recently in Bavaria- although some rosaries are linked, the majority are strung. Note also that the rosary has six decades rather than five, also common among Bavarian rosaries.
The Ave beads are gorgeous faceted givre glass with a pale peachy tan color and clear glass. These may be German or Austrian. The faceting gives them a lovely sparkling appearance.
Of note is the 4" inlaid crucifix with skull and crossbones. Although my pictures don't show the detail of the feet, this crucifix is one that shows four nails rather than three- the feet are separate rather than overlapping with a single nail. There is a common, yet highly inaccurate, rumor on the internet that the four nails mean the crucifix is dated prior to 1830. This is a prime example of why that is not an accurate statement. This crucifix is definitely a 20th century crucifix and has four nails. I would date this rosary to the middle decades of the 20th century.
This is a true collector rosary, rare and unique. It could also serve as a rosary for use as it appears to be well strung on nylon. You cannot use the stringing material to date Bavarian rosaries, as they were commonly restrung numerous times.
See this rosary and many other incredible antique and vintage rosaries for sale on The Sacred Bead. This rosary is now on special on Antiques Page 3!
 Fabulous Bavarian Rosary- Rosenkranz- with six decades of givre beads and a four inch Skull and Crossbones Crucifix.
 Reverse of the crucifix

Beautiful faceted givre beads- each one is cut, not molded.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Skull Rosaries

Although most of The Sacred Bead's customers come to enjoy the antique rosary beads, I have been getting requests for more skull rosaries- the two I had sold long ago and haven't been replaced yet. I am currently working on making some gorgeous ones and will have them on the website by the end of August.
I see many questions online about what and why skulls are placed on rosaries, as people have forgotten the long tradition in Europe of placing a skull on a rosary. Known as a momento mori, the skull is there as a contemplative tool for remembering our mortality and as a reminder of Christ's triumph over death. Antique rosaries used by priests and nuns in Europe frequently had skulls on them for this reason. Most of these beautiful antique rosaries are quite rare and thus very expensive. As an more affordable alternative, modern rosaries made with skull beads make an excellent alternative. I do know that these have become quite popular and are frequently worn; it is not up to me to dictate what you do with a rosary you purchase from The Sacred Bead. Of course, I would love to see them exclusively used in prayer, but I am aware that that may not always be the case. 
As with all my designer rosaries, only the finest materials are used. Several skull rosaries will feature antique and vintage crucifixes. They may have coral, turquoise, or bone beads. The skulls are made from ox bone, palm nuts, magnesite and glass. Each one is unique, so once it is sold, there will never be another made just like it. When making rosaries, I avoid a lot of "fancy," instead I like to highlight the elegance and simplicity of beautiful natural materials.

 Antique and Vintage Crucifixes on Several of the Skull Rosaries.
 Skull beads are ox bone, magnesite and other materials. The ave beads are sea coral, ox bone, turquoise and other fine materials.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Summer Sale on Antique and Vintage Rosaries

Just letting everyone know that The Sacred Bead is having a store-wide 20% off sale. If you have been wanting an antique or vintage rosary- now is the time to make your purchase! Rosaries make extraordinary gifts- not only are these incredible antiques, many of them are appropriate for daily use. I will always let you know in the description if I think and antique rosary is too fragile for frequent use.
You'll find rosaries in all price ranges and ages- I specialize in antique French rosaries but offer a wide range of beautiful items. Don't forget to browse through the vastly expanded Antique and Vintage Crucifix section!
 Fabulous antique rosary of natural Mediterranean coral, mother of pearl and sterling- this is the reverse of the highly detailed crucifix.
 Elegant vintage rosary with black beads and sterling.
 A magnificent vintage 15 decade rosary covered with medals- a wonderful French rosary!
 Beautiful antique crucifix with skull and crossbones.

Come and enjoy the site- it is the most extensive collection of antique rosaries on the internet! And, as always, I welcome your questions about rosaries you have and may not be sure of their age, materials or origins. Just send me a picture and I will be more than happy to help you identify your rosary!