Sunday, October 16, 2011

Two Mystery Rosaries

I have two rosaries, one on The Sacred Bead and another that a reader sent me pictures of that I could use a little assistance with! 
The first rosary is an absolutely beautiful art glass rosary from Italy. It is the beads that have me intrigued. Although I am a decades long bead collector and have a pretty vast knowledge of antique beads, I have never seen this particular bead before. It reminds me of saphiret beads in the way that the colors come from inside the beads. There is no coating on the outside, as in Aurora Borealis beads, rather the glow or flashes of color come from the inside. Saphiret beads were made with actual gold in the glass, so I am guessing a process similar to that produced these beads. When held to the light the Ave beads have a golden or yellow glow, while the Pater beads have a pinkish flash of color. From the style of the center, I am estimating that this rosary is from the middle of the 20th century. The rosary is for sale on The Sacred Bead on Antiques Page 7. If anyone knows the name of these beads, where they were made, or how they were made, I'd love to know!

 Note how each Ave bead is wirewapped and the larger round Pater beads have caps. Lovely, lovely rosary!

The second rosary is very similar to a WWI soldier rosary with pull chain style beads. There are three major differences though. The standard WWI rosaries are between 16 and 17 inches when laid flat, this rosary is 18 inches long. It has a different center- all the WWI rosaries have the same center with Mary on one side and Jesus carrying the cross on the reverse. The most significant difference is the shape of the beads. Rather than being round, the Ave beads are oval!  If anyone has any knowledge about rosaries like this I would certainly appreciate hearing from you- just go to The Sacred Bead and email me please. Thanks so much in advance for any help you can give!
 The rosary on the left is a WWI rosary, note the oval shaped beads on the mystery rosary on the right.
 On the left is the center always found on the WWI rosaries. Note how the construction of the connectors is identical in both rosaries.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Plenty of Moderately Priced Antique Rosaries on The Sacred Bead

As the Holiday Season approaches, many people are starting their search for just the right Christmas gifts. Antique and vintage rosaries make a fantastic gift for those who appreciate the exquisite craftsmanship and the beauty of rosaries that have been lovingly prayed on for decades. 
With the economy as it is, I have been concentrating on bringing many more moderately priced rosaries to The Sacred Bead. You'll still find some incredible and rare rosaries, but also plenty to fit any budget! Here is just a sampling of the most recent additions to The Sacred Bead. Don't forget that buying an antique or vintage rosary is an ecologically sound choice. These rosaries already exist- you are saving energy and resources every time you purchase and antique or vintage item rather than a new one.

 Lovely Faceted Crystal and Deep Blue Enamel Antique French Rosary. Antiques page 4
 Fabulous Amethyst Crystal (glass that resembles amethyst) with Extra Medals Antiques page 20
 Rare Handmade French Nun's Rosary from Quebec Antiques page 15
 Incredible Italian Art Glass Rosary Antiques page 7
 Lovely Antique French Rosary with Deep Garnet Glass Beads   Antiques page 25
 Art Deco Mother of Pearl Rosary with White Enamel Accents  Antiques page 33
 Antique French Rosary with Art Glass Beads and Extra Medals  Antiques p 20
 Beautiful Victorian Metal Rosary w Highly Detailed Crucifix Antiques page 21
Antique Rosary with Crystal Beads and Fancy Spacers   Antiques page 10

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Tradition of El Dia de Los Muertos

This whimsical image of a skeleton playing a guitar is one of many similar portrayals of skeletons enjoying life that are used during celebrations of the holiday , El Dia de los Muertos. Originating in Mexico but now found throughout the Americas, this holiday represents a blending of early Mexican celebrations and the new religion brought from Spain in the 16th century. All Saints and All Souls days fall roughly at the same time of year that the traditional Mexican festivities for the dead occurred, which explains why the holiday coincides with All Saints and All Souls days. As old customs were incorporated into the new religion brought by the Spaniards, El Dia de los Muertos became a time to both reflect on the meaning of life and to enjoy the presence of the ancestors. Rather than being a frightening symbol, the skeletons of this holiday are joyously represented. 
Skulls on rosaries are an ancient tradition in Europe and are becoming increasingly well known and used in modern times. Many people appreciate the symbolism of both El Dia de los Muertos and rosaries with skulls. The skull on a rosary is a contemplative tool, reminding those in prayer of man's brief earthly life and Jesus' victory over death.
You can find the following rosaries on The Sacred Bead and The SacredBead2 on Etsy.
 Antique inlaid crucifix, natural rust sponge coral and small carved bone skulls complete this interesting handmade rosary.
 Large antique skull and crossbones crucifix, bone and resin amber beads and tiny carved bone skull beads makeup this intriguing rosary.
 The center and crucifix are hand made bronze pieces, cast from antiques.
 Unique skulls made of large seeds with gorgeous natural rust sponge coral beads highlight this lovely rosary.