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18c CORAL  FILIGREE ROSARY
late 1700s with rare faceted coral Ave Maria beads


RARE FACETED CORAL
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ABOUT CORAL
While in Germany I asked an antiques dealer why there was so much value put on coral rosaries and, it was explained that coral rosaries were favored by people during this period because [they believed] that coral had 'special healing properties,' and helped with blood circulation problems. These rosaries were looked on as 'strengthening ones emotions,' and helped one to have a more 'loving and harmonious nature.' It was also considered to 'influence one spiritually and intuitively' symbolizing the teaching thereof.

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CONFIGURATION   -   FACETED CORAL BEADS
CREDO CROSS   -   RELIQUARY BOX
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 Private Collection. Not for sale




~ CONFIGURATION ~
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TRADITIONAL 
BRIGITTINE ROSARY
This rosary has 6 decades of rare, faceted coral with 7 silver filigree Pater beads, a Credo Creuz and a Reliquary.  Whole rosary measured 13.5 in. It has been restrung, originally loosely strung on a cord or string so the beads would slide as they were counted, prayed, told or said.
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SYMBOLISM
The Brigittine Rosary is a 6 decade rossary, giving the rosary 7 Pater beads, one for each of the 7 sorrows of Mary.  The 63 Ave beads commemorate the 63 traditional years of Mary's earthly life before her assumption into heaven.
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 This rosary was purchased in Rothenburg Germany in 1997 at a small antique shop in the old section of the walled city.  A Rare find with its faceted coral beads which are nicely matched in size and color. 




~ FACETED CORAL BEADS ~
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HEALING POWERS OF CORAL
The 7 mm Ave beads are faceted coral which was very very popular for many centuries after it became available for use.  The 7 Paters are silver filigree. It was not unusual for various Pater Noster guilds (cottage industries) to specialize in coral or other semi precious stones (filigree rosary makers were generally women and children located in Austria and Bavaria). 
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Faceted coral beads are not seen very often simply because they were coveted by their owners and collectors. The Paters are traditionally silver filigree beads along with the Credo and Crucifix or Medallion.
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Coral was believed to contain healing powers and was very popular in this century.




~ CREDO CRUZ ~
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FAITH, HOPE, LOVE
The small 'Credo Cross' (Creed) with its tiny flower gracing the center, is especially lovely with its fine detail.  It was a reminder after the Creed was prayed to then say 'pray for an increase in Faith, Hope and Love' before entering the next 3 Ave. beads on the pendant. (Council of Trent)




~ RELIQUARY BOX ~


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MEDALLIONS 
HONORING SAINTS AND KINGS
This little silver filigree medallion is called a reliquary box  These boxes probably gained their name from earlier rosaries that  originally contained the saints relics imaged - but then simply became a puffy filigree, two faced medal. Many of the filigree rosaries did not have crosses or crucifixes below the credo cross, but instead had medallions honored kings, saints and other favorite devotions including Mary holding the child Jesus as shown below left.  2 in Silver Reliquary box shows Mary and Jesus on one side and St. Joseph (?) on the other.




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ANTIQUE ROSARY MUSEUM INDEX
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