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rosary workshop - Hunt Museum Index
ANTIQUE IRISH ROSARIES
from the Hunt Muesum - Limerick Ireland - Index

UNDERSTANDING
THE IRISH ROSARY 

HARD TO FIND?
During a recent trip to Ireland, we asked an antiques dealer why it was so hard to find rosaries in Ireland.  She explained it was because of the old custom of burying the rosary with its owner.  So when we found the following rosaries at the Hunt Museum in Limerick City, we felt truly blessed.
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    We are grateful to the Hunt for allowing us to share this information with you the students and lovers of the history of the rosary so you may learn more about the precious rosaries of Ireland. All images are used with the permission of the Hunt Museum, Limerick Ireland. Please contact the Hunt directly for use of or further information regarding this collection. (See below)

SEARCH ROSARY WORKSHOP:


for more information 
GALWAY CROSS  -   CONFIGURATION    -   PENAL CROSS
ROSARY DIRECTORY  -   MORE CROSSES
also  see 
MORE LINKS



~ THE GALWAY CROSS ~
TWO HOLLOW TUBES
The GALWAY CROSS is made of 2 hollow tubes and is attached to the rosary in an unique way.  Instead of a ring at the top of the crucifix, the cord (if strung) is pulled through the length of the tube.  The chained rosaries are done in a similar way and the samples below appear to use cord or leather thong. 
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ACTIVE SPANISH INFLUENCE
The design (Especially the Corpus) of these tubular crucifixes reflects the active Spanish influence - because of trade - during the 18th and 19th centuries in Galway Bay, Ireland.  This trade was created by the oppression ot England during the penal  period.
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TASSELS TRADITIONAL
Often an anchor bead is attached to the bottom of the crucifix before the tassel is formed or connected.  The arms of the cross carry a continuation of the design. Tassels were often used for functional and ornamental reasons yet carried the symbolism of 'wiping away the tears'. 
 MOE TASSELS!
It is interesting that several of the 'tassels' use techniques found in military uniform passementerie (trim).
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GOLDEN SILK TASSELS
ABOVE: The arms of the cross are finished with small, golden silk tassels. BELOW:  The base is made from brown silk strips and gold bouillon passementerie trim. Gold bouillon is found on military uniforms and gear such as swords. Also used to form the skirt on fine tassels and other architectural appointments 
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SIMPLY AVAILABLE?
This passementerie may have simply been available but since the rosary is often called a 'WEAPON AGAINST EVIL' we thought it very appropriate that a military touch be present! 




~  CONFIGURATION ~
CHAINED
SILVER AND HORN
(dated 18c)
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NOTE THE PATER BEADS
The position of the 6 Pater beads in realation to the 5 decades and the pendant. Also see close up of Crucifix (above right). Chained, note center heart. Also the pendant 3 beads for 'an increase of Faith, Hope and Love'.




~ PENAL CROSS ~
HAND CARVED 
WOOD PENAL CROSS 
(1799 - Ireland)
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Obverse

Reverse
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LOUGH DERG
"Penal crosses are actually crucifixes that are thought to date back to the the time of the 17th century penal laws against the Roman Catholics in Ireland.  These crosses often have symbols of the passion displayed around the corpus. It is likely that many of these penal crosses were produced as devotional souvenirs for pilgrims at Lough Derg. Co. Donegal. Pilgrimages still take place to *Lough Derg every summer.' (The Hunt Museum with permission)
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The arms were kept short as they had a tendency to break off since they were carved from wood. This also made them easier to hide up ones sleeve if necessary.




~ ROSARY DIRECTORY ~

For more information about the Penal Cross and rosary, see links below

HUNT MUSEUM INDEX
An overview of the rosary crosses of Ireland
 GALWAY ROSARIES
Unique tubular crucifixes in silver, influenced by the Spanish trade from the Hunt.
 PENAL ROSARIES AND CROSSES
18c Penal Rosaries and crosses, a mini history with pictures.
 MORE IRISH ROSARIES
Rosaries of amber and ivory, from the 1700s - 1800s
INFORMATION ON LOCH DERG
a holy place, St Patricks Purgatory - Penal Cross
EASTER TRIP TO NORTHERN IRELAND
... and back to Galway Bay for dinner 



~ MORE  CROSSES ~

The Hunt Museum has a beautiful collection of bronze corpus' from old crosses, believed to be German (11th - 12th century. The third one over from the left is Anglo Saxon, 10th c. For more information, go to their site (see below)

For more information on this excellent
online collection at the Hunt Museum go to
HUNT MUSEUM
then to 'online collection'.
scroll down to 'R' (Religious / Ritual equipment)  for an
in depth look at the items above and more.
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or write
THE HUNT MUSEUM
The Custom House
Rutland Street, Limerick Ireland
Tel 061 452022



SEARCH ROSARY WORKSHOP:


for more information see
FILIGREE ROSARIES   -   CHAPLETS   -   IDENTIFY MISC PARTS
CLERIC ROSARIES   -   VISITORS OPEN GALLERY  -  Front Page
back to museum index
ROSARY DIRECTORY
ANTIQUE ROSARY MUSEUM INDEX
and you might find these interesting:
  CAN YOU IDENTIFY THIS?
MINIATURE ICONS   -     COUNCIL OF TRENT
TOP OF PAGE
for more information on
LOUGH DERG

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