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rosaries and chaplets
CAN YOU IDENTIFY THIS?
crucifixes, seals, prayer counter parts



 ~ RARE 18c ICON CRUCIFIXES ? ~
(for larger image, click icon below)
(for more information and more links to collections see below)
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TREEN CRUCIFIX
MUSEUM COLLECION SERIES
Treen (tree) Hand carved wood 
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VIEWER ASKED US TO IDENTIFY
Can you tell me what type of cross this is? I do believe it is from the 1700s from Greece and is handmade. It was passed down through my family for healing.  It has a double skull and bones and symbols I cannot seem to find anywhere. Can you help me?  I will send more information but it is very hard to photograph. 
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(3 inches top to bottom - ,25 in thick) 
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HARD TO PHOTOGRAPH
BECAUSE OF A STRANGE LIGHT
The length is about 3 in. and it is about .25 in thick. It was hand carved from wood that is now petrified with just a little of the wood like substance left. The weight is not like stone is, very strange as is very light weight. It is very hard to take pictures of it because it has this light that comes from it when you try to take pictures. A professional photographer took the pictures I sent to you and it took him days to get a clear picture with a special lens in the dark as it was the only way to get good pictures. .
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TWO SKULLS AT BOTTOM?
It has double skull and bones and symbols I cannot seem to find anywhere 
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BASE OF CROSS - 2 SKULLS
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MANY MYSTERIES
In the world of rosaries and chaplets there are many mysteries! We thought it would be fun to ask you if you have any thoughts on the age, origin of some of these mysterious religious items. As this site grows, we hope you will come back and view how many of these treasures there are in the world.
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WE HOPE YOU ENJOY
Each helps to patch in a bit of what we know and don't know about the history of crucifixes, rosaries and chaplets. Remembering that for many years confraternities and 3rd orders had special crucifixes, chaplets and rosaries with various bead configurations - long since lost in time - and that many broken rosaries were put back together by unknowing hands, we have a lot of curious prayer bead counters out there. With this in mind, we will collect and show you an adventurous few as they come in.

SEARCH ROSARY WORKSHOP:


for more information, enjoy! 
HEALING PROPERTIES   -   FATHER JOE'S RESPONSES
18c GREEK ORTHODOX 'TREE(N)' CRUCIFIX
also see other great stuff! 
GREEK BLESSING CROSS
MORE LINKS




 ~ HEALING PROPERTIES ~
PERSONAL HISTORY OF CRUCIFIX
"It was passed down in my family and was used for healing. It was dipped in a tea - then the patient would drink the tea. My family was the holder of the cross but had to call another family to use it. When a baby, my Aunt Alice had an enlarged heart and was told she would die.  She was treated with the crucifix dipped in the tea daily then taken to the hospital (Cleveland Ohio) about a year later. The doctor told my Grandfather this was not the same child for all was well with her, She lived a long life and died just a few years ago."
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OBVERSE: Crucifixion with INRI 
REVERSE: Holy Spirit above Christ figure, surrounded by 'Saints' and unknown. 
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MY GRANFATHER TOLD ME
IT WAS VERY VERY SPECIAL
"When I was about 6 I found the cross. My grandfather told me it was very special and I was never, never to ever touch it as it was not a plaything. I am now 60 and have never touched it. It is kept in a hand carved box with symbols on it.  (the box is kept in a vault at a bank).  The cross was to be handed down through the oldest male in the family and was never to leave the Zorba family, ever. (His last name was shortened when he came to America). Out of 10 children, all the males died early leaving my mom as caretaker and now me."
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.WAS NOT TO LEAVE THE FAMILY
"About 30 years ago we took the cross to the Cleveland History Museum and they took a small piece from it at that is how I know it is of wood that is petrified. The museum wanted to keep it but Grandfather said it was not to leave our hands. My grandpa was from Greece and lived in a small town at the foot of the Acropolis (Athens). I don't think the town is there any more. He also said the trees the wood came from is no longer on earth." Sharon Polkow



 ~ RESPONSE FROM FR JOE ~
BAPTISMAL CROSS
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BAPTISM OF CHRIST
The reverse of the crucifix is the festival icon of the baptism of Christ.  The right hand figure on the cross is an angel.  This is a baptismal cross.  Fr. Mark who is a Coptic Christian says this small cross was blessed by the priest and given by the God parents to the child.  He says all Copts hold the baptism cross they wear and pray for healing because all blessings of salvation flow from Christ's cross.
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DOUBLE SKULLS
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SALVATION AND RESURRECTION
One side is the crucifixion with the skulls of Adam and Eve at the bottom meaning the cross brings us salvation and resurrection from the dead.  Remember in the Orthodox Church the baby is baptized, confirmed and given communion in one rite! This icon cross is a reminder of baptism and communion. The placement of the cross layout and figures match Greek and Russian Icons from the 1700 century. The "Treen" cross follows the icons of events in the life of Christ at His Baptism with the people who witnessed His baptism.
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 DIPPING CROSS INTO WATER
As to dipping the cross into water to heal the sick:  In the Orthodox faith plunging a cross into water to consecrate the water of baptism is common practice.  The actions describe would come from a lay person using a blessed cross to pass the blessing to ordinary water to be used to heal the sick.  This is just like the Catholic blessing of oil, salt and water in Easter baskets at church when I was a kid.  This blessed oil, salt, and water was used for emergencies to add to food given to the sick, water and salt used to bless the home, car, kids and even the cat when needed! shared by Father Joe (USA)
ROSARY WORKSHOP
 The thickness of the 18c Greek Orthodox Icon Cross is because the originals were carved from wood.  Our small Greek Icon Cross in metal below has the image of Mary holding the child Jesus on the reverse but the ones I see are more like yours as described above by Father Joe who confirms that traditional icons show this very scene of the baptism of Christ
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OUR GREEK ICON CROSS
Greek Icon Cross - CRX.13
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SAINT BASIL'S DAY
.  Re dipping cross into water, I also read that daily, during the 12 days of Chistmas, the mother of the family will rest basil leaves in water, then dip the cross into this 'tea' and sprinkle it in the house to protect the family from the bad spirits who are especially active during this time! And on St Basil's day (Jan 1) the "renewal of waters" takes place, when all water jugs in the house are emptied and refilled with new 'St. Basil's Water.' (Basil was believed to hold healing properties!)



FROM THE 1700s

~ GREEK ORTHODOX 'TREEN' ICON ~
SYMBOLS 
ON THE TREE(N) CROSS
A beautiful example of a Greek Icon Cross or Crucifix called a 'TREEN' (TREE) or hand carved wooden icon cross with two sides. OBVERSE: Crucified Christ surrounded by unidentified saints.   REVERSE: Baptism Icon of Christ with Holy Spirit above his head. 
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(3.5 x 2.25 - .5 inches thick)
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A CLOSER LOOK AT SYMBOLS
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NOTE THICKNESS 
OF THE CRUCIFIX BELOW (.5in)
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See Father Joe's RESPONSE  (above)
FOR AVAILABILITY OR FOR MORE INFORMATION SEE
(offered by '1001pc' on ebay)




~  ORTHODOX 'BLESSING' CROSS ~
SYMBOLS 
ON THE TREE(N) CROSS
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Dear Father Joe,
"I have been searching for some information about a little wooden Orthodox blessing cross/crucifix I have, and I came upon your helpful website and found a description of a Greek treen icon cross which is very similar – the only one I could find on the internet other than a very elaborate one on the Met Museum site."
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ORIGINALLY
HAD TWO ARMS
(6” long, 1 3/8” wide - .5 inches thick)
(for larger image, click icon above)
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(NOTE THICKNESS OF CROSS)  "I attach some pictures to show you the most exquisite carving of the crucifixion and the Baptism of Christ and Evangelists. I’m pretty sure that originally it had two arms like the one on your website, but they have broken off along the grain of the wood and the edges pared down to make it still usable." 
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CRUCIFIXION OF OUR LORD
 (for larger image, click icon above)
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A NAIL
HANDLE AT BASE?
"It might also have had a handle attached to the base. It has a square (nail) hole through it at the top which has caused the crack. I think it was once coloured as I can see under a microscope traces of red, yellow and blue, perhaps wax based. It is very light for its size (possibly box wood), and measures 6” long, 1 3/8” wide and ½” thick."
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IC XC NK (NIKA)
"It has the usual IC XC NK (NIKA) and also letters above the baptism which we think might be an abbreviation of BOGOIAVLENIE GOSPODNE which I believe means ‘God appearance of the Lord’." 
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BAPTISM OF OUR LORD
 (for larger image, click icon above)
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"Even though it is so damaged, it is a beautiful item and must have been a treasure when intact, I have no idea how old it is or whether it is Greek or Russian Orthodox.
I hope you can help from the photographs.  With thanks,"
Mary Parker 
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SO MUCH TO LEARN
Thank you for sending your beautiful images, Mary. Such a beautiful tradition for families of this period. Traditional for baptisms included in the  Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches during the 16 - 17 centuries. If you our visitors, have more information , please share it as we are all learning so much +RW
THE COLLECTION ONLINE
(also see THE MET MUSEUM Treen  accession # 07.169.44  16c Russia. approz 6.5 x 3.5 x .5 thick.)



ROSARY WORKSHOP
MISSION STATEMENT
 Our vision is to provide the finest handmade rosaries, chaplets and other fine religious art forms for personal worship we can make using the best supplies available.  The Guild believes the work of our hands should give visual Glory to God, therefore for us, the best for you is very, very important.

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email information that may continue the journey to discovery
(BEADSONG@hotmail.com)
for more information, enjoy! 
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