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rosary workshop  - museum shopping for old rosaries
 WHERE TO LOOK for OLD ROSARIES
 search them out and let them speak to your heart


19th CENTURY FILIGREES - ANTIQUITATEN , OBERAMMERGAU
(photo by James P Butler)
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SHOPPING FOR 
ANTIQUE ROSARIES
 Our early trips to Germany yielded a wonderful collection of old filigree rosaires but today they are very hard to find.  And when you are lucky to find one, the price is often out of sight. (if you are lucky enough to find one, make sure all the beads are there) Our recent trip during Easter 2012 to Bavaria was an eye opener but we still had to bring a few home with us. The Euro vs USD is difficult at best.
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IDENTIFYING YOUR OLD ROSARIES
  Below we share 2 of our favorite antique dealers in Bavaria (Germany). Several of the rosaries are shown here with hopes they may help date and identify rosaries you many have in your posession from family or other sources. 

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Mr A. Riegg speaks German
ANTIQUITATEN  -  OBERAMMERGAU
the Kenzens speak English
SAMMLER TRUHE  -  ROTHENBURG  odT
also see more examples of old
rosaries and chaplets for your information
FLEA MARKETS   -   COMMENTS




~ ANTIQUITATEN  ~
 FROM EARLY 
ROSENKRANZ GILDENS
Albert Riegg of Antiquitäten (Antiquities) in Oberammergau Bavaria (Germany) has a beautiful collection of filigrees that date from around the 1820s and are mainly from Schwäbisch Gmünd. Schwäbisch Gmünd was the major center for the making of filigree and glass bead rosaries in the 17 - 19th centuries. Hand made by early Rosenkranz Gildens (Rosary Guilds) and private families. The filigree rosary took off when this ancient, pre Christian, lacy metal craft called filigree was introduced to the area in the 17-18c.
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WHERE FILIGREES WERE MADE
Today there are over 50 arts and crafts schools in Schwäbisch Gmünd drawing students from all over the world.  You will also find fine museums recording its history over the centuries including rosaries, jewelry and precious metal crafts.
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You may get in touch with Mr Rieggs at the address below if you are interested in purchasing. Euros only and does not speak English. (prices range from around 100 - 1000+ Euros) 
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ANTIQUITATEN
ETTALER STRAßE (Street) - 82487 OBERAMMERGAU GERMANY
Tel. (08822)-4290  -  Fax. (08822) 94145 - carinariegg@gmx.de (?)
TWO 6 DECADE BRIGITTINE ROSARIES
7 PATERS: 7 Sorrows of Mary.  63 AVES:  tradiitional age of Mary,  Popular with Briganttine Sisters through Sister Briget (1346).  Earliest record of rosary 1726 but believed to predate 18c. (see 3 below) 
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SMALL BLUE FACETED FILIGREE - RARE - 1820
Mr. Riegg dated this little rosary 1820 and identified it as being made in Schwäbisch Gmünd. The little blue 
opaque beads are individually hand pressed and hand faceted glass (note irregular facets and sizes). It measures 12.5 in.  
from tip of cross to center back and is a 6 decade Brigittine Rosary. Most of the rosaries at this time were strung 
as is this one.  (This one has been restrung.) The eye of the camera was unable to capture the beautiful blue. 
This rosary is in a private collection and is not for sale.
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A RUBY RED FILIGREE ROSARY - 1820
Purchased from A Reigg several years ago, this is a good example of what the rosaries looked like before 
they are restrung as was the blue one above. This one is loosely strung on the traditional red cord which was not very
stable over time.  This one measures 13.5in from tip of crucifix to center back including exposed red cord (3 in). 
All clear faceted red beads (hand pressed / faceted) are present including the filigree 'credo cruz' and 
the larger filigree crown with the porcelain inserts. It is rare to find the porcelain unbroken 
as is here. Dated 1820's. Schwäbisch Gmünd. Another 6 decade Brigittine.




~ SAMMLER TRUHE ~
"THE ANTIQUE CHEST"
 My first filigree rosary came from the Antique Chest in 1997 (see below) but have not seen any there since.  Am sharing the images below with hopes they may help you identify one you may have.
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FACETED CORAL AVE BEADS - pre 1850s
Coral was believed to have special healig powers so became very popular as a rosary bead.  
Traditional 6 decade 'Brigittine'.  Note 'Credo Cruz' (for an increase of faith, hope and charity) above 
the large reliquary.  Images of Mary and child Jesus, Reverse often shows a saint or honors reigning king. - 
13.5 in - GermanyThis trip (2012) I purchased 5 rosaries from Karin and gave 3 to my children. Am sharing 
the 2 images below with hopes they may help you identify one you may have. (Purchased in 2012)
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NUN'S ROSARY - 1850s or later
Note the distance between beads and strong chain! Two signs this rosary was worn off of a belt
at the waist and hung down over religious habit. Beads are 6 - 7 mm. Small 1.5 in. crucifix has wood 
insert that shows back and front. Also note very rare center, 
made up of rings (think of chainmail) Germany 
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DEEPLY WORN FROM USE - 1850 - 1870s
Old wooden rosary - repaired and worn.  Beads are irregular in size. Note Crucifix which shows the 
insert on both sides, rare. Center: 'Lourdes - souvenir' very worn. small 'Pater' medals show Mary with child, 
Immaculate Conception, Suffering Christ. Note similar style below suggesting 
this was a popular style at the time. 
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PURCHASED EARLIER VISITS BELOW
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TWO HEARTS - early 20c
 5 decade wooden rosary with rare 'Two Hearts" center is of aluminum - " Jesus Maria ich liebe 
Euch rettet - Seelen" (Jesus Maria I love you - Save Souls) Reverse: "so möge dein und mein sohn geopfert 
werden" (so may your and my son to be sacrificed) est early / mid 20c - Germany. 23 in. 
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 BLUE PRESSED GLASS BEADS - 1890 - 1900s
'A' 'M' (Ave Maria Initials center) popular during the Late Victorian - Art Nouveau  period. .
5 decade. 6mm faceted beads. Germany -17 inches.
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TIGER EYE FACETED PRESSED GLASS - 1900 - 1915
Souvenir of Lourdes (1858).  Note each Metal next to the Pater bead.  
Mary and reverse image of  grotto. 22 inches
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CARVED WOODEN 'ROSE BEADS' - 1850s
A beautiful example of  a 5 decades wooden rosary with carved 'rose beads'. Strong wrapped wire 
connectors on either side of Pater Beads (popular during 18 - 19c). Upside down "Heart Center' 
shows a stamped Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, very worn (1830).  
Crucifix is hand made still showing file marks ... Germany -21 in.
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SAMMLER TRUHE
Gerard and Karin Kenzen
RODERGASSE 23 - 91541 ROTHENBURG o.d.T. GERMANY
Tel. & Fax. (09861) 8136
Mo - Fr 10-18 Uhr - Sat 10 - 14 Uhr



~ FLEA MARKETS ~
 SEARCHING OUT 
WINDOWS FILLED WITH TREASURES
ANTIQUE DEALER  DATED THEM BELOW - ALL GERMAN
Antique shops that deal in old jewelry are especially a good find for rosaries.  Here in the United States and other countries, espceially areas that trade with tourists and speak English!  The three below were discovered tucked in a window of an Antique Shop in Rothenburg odT.
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5 DECADE WOODEN ROSARY - 1870 -1900 - Germany
 (The heart center was popular during the 1800s)
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5 DECADE 'FAUX IVORY' ROSARY - 1900 - 1910
(note 'rose' carved Pater beads and crucifix)
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5 DECADE 'GUTTA PERCHA' ROSARY
(Gutta Percha - a natural latex, rubber, from trees) 1900 - 1910
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 - '7 SORROWS OF MARY' 
(7 sets of 7 beads)
  Small medals show the symbol of Mary with 7 swords piercing her heart with 
reverse side showing images of her 7 sorrows - 19 in. Early 1900s 
(5mm beads - Gutta Percha)
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THE FLEA MARKET
But never underestimate the Flea Market!  They are everywhere!  Our favorite is in Oberammergau and we build our trips around them. Many of the antique medals offered on our site were found at flea markets and our car knows how to pull off the road when the signs are posted!




~ COMMENTS ~
 ...newspaper beads ...
This weekend I had a little old lady in her 80's. She made rosaries in Germany during WW ll when there was precious little to make rosaries with - so, she made her rosaries out of little balls of rolled up newspaper with a little spittle, flour and water. When the newspaper balls were dry/hard, she sometimes painted them with "what ever I had" but frequently she had nothing to paint them with at all. 
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She said she used threads from burlap bags or flour sacks to thread her rosaries. She carved her own crucifixes from bone or made them from sticks, wood etc. Her grand-daughter who came to visit her said they all had several of these little newspaper ball rosaries, and cherished them so. 
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THIS was a succinct reminder to me that it is praying the rosary, living the rosary that is important ... shared by Nurse Jaye
dedicated to PHILIP LEON CARTER
And all who love the Lord, love working with wood and are interested in learning how things were done over the centuries.  How the rosary grew from a simple pebble to a string of wooden beads - to gemstones - yet know - it is the prayer of the heart that matters and not the substance of the bead.
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 This is a living museum and is open to your contributions in image form so that others may enjoy the many variations in rosaries and chaplets over the centuries.

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