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rosary workshop - Rosary Workshop Museum - filigree
CAN YOU IDENTIFY THESE?
filigree rosaries with a mystery

A GLORIOUS HISTORY
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LITTLE MEDALLIONS
Filigrees have a glorious history and were very popular for hundreds of years - and they were still being made, we found out, in the Bavarian Forest until recently.  Be sure and see our collection of filigree rosaries in the museum. Hard to know if the images below have been strung in their original configurations but remain interesting - do you have any thoughts? Share what you know!

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14 BEAD FILIGREE   -   PILGRIMAGE ROSARIES
 BENEDICT WHO?   -   SENDING YOUR IMAGES
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~ 14 BEAD FILIGREE ~
COMMENTS FROM OWNER
"The mystery, of course, is the identity of the Saint whose relic this sliver of bone is (.75 x .25 in). Yes, the little cylinder contains a sliver of bone.  I have only seen it once in my life when my grandmother opened it to show me. I do not handle it.I'm sure the answer is contained in the rosary. The decades of 14 beads must also have significance, since that is an unusual detail."  Mario Cavaradossi (N
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RARE BEAD COUNTS
(tape measure is in metrics)
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FACETED 'ENGLISH CUTS'
Faceted (English Cut) beads (Garnet or red glass) with five sets of (14) beads, each divided by four filigree Paters.  Cross is a traditioual filigree reliquary with Mother of Pearl set in a wooden cross. 
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RELIQUARY CROSS
(Mother of Pearl set in wood framed in filigree)
NOTE POSITION OF CREDO CROSS BELOW
 (tape measure is in metrics)
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CRYSTAL 
ENCASED PORTRAITS
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These tiny portraits are encased in a secured filigreed box with crystal tops.  They are hand painted and appear to have halos, Left may be a ruler or king of the day and the right appears to be of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. These little medallions are often seen attached half way between a decade. Often collected as souvenirs from a pilgrimage to a holy site.
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FILIGREE CYLINDER
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POMANDER OR RELIQUARY
  Similar items may have held pomander. Many Pater beads during an earlier period were filigreed and held pomander to either ward off evil or to cover aromas from a traditional society who did not bathe daily! Owner was told it held a sliver of bone, possibly of a saint.
 

ROSARY WORKSHOP COMMENTS
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BEADS
- It is hard to tell if this is the original sequence and number as it was not unusual for broken rosaries to be restrung by someone who does not know the original configuration. (many Filigree Rosaries, called Brigittine (St Brigit) had 6 sets of 10 + 60 beads in loop) and it is possible some of the pater beads were either missing or broken. This creates confusion for museum directors in the process of trying to identify unusual counts for which 3rd Orders and Confraternities were well known.
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Also note the small Credo Cross is not next to the large Filigree cross at bottom of pendant which is where you see it in the filigree rosary.  So am suspicious that some one may have restrung it.  remember too, the ones strung on red string are loosely strung and the beads travel over the string as they are prayed. 
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RELICS 
I am not sure when relics became sealed with red wax and red string to insure solid evidence of the authenticity of the relic, so the bone involved may have predated this process and may have come from the person in the image (small medallion above). During the period of the filigree rosary, honor was given to the ruler of the times, (many would become saints) possibly praying the Lord would give him health and wisdom.
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RELIQUARY ALTAR BOX 
I have worked on altar inserts that contain first class relics of saints and they were simply glued to a strip of paper naming each of the saints. It was kept in a locked box with a crystal lid (Jesuit altar) but did not contain sealed wax protection in any way.




~ PILGRIMAGE ROSARIES ~
SEEN ON EBAY
Filigrees below have beautiful pilgrimage treasure added to remind them of their trips to holy sites. (seen on myeasyshop.de - ebay)
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BELOW: 2 Coral filigree rosaries dated before 1850. Coral was looked upon for its 'healing powers' so was very popular. We thank those who have shared these images. 
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~ BENEDICT WHO? ~
RELIQUARY PENDANT
'I have what appears to be an old rosary that I would like to see if someone can give me some information on. it appears to have a piece of bone and a name of St. Benedict.  I have attached some pictures; ANY information or direction to find out any information would be appreciated and helpful.'  Thank You, Thom Martin
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POSSIBLY  POPE (BLESSED)  BENEDICT XI ?
Pope Benedict XI (1303 - 1304) was beatified in 1773.   The filigree rosary may date back to the 17c. They were very popular during the 18c so this causes on to ponder.  Does the B stand for Blessed? Or is this a relic from a later Brother Benedictine? What is special about this reliquary is that it is a sealed reliquary and most of the filigrees we see are probably not true reliquaries.
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DATING THROUGH
A BISHOP'S SEAL?
The seal above shows a hat gules (gules: red in heraldry) above the seal. From the hat, tassels (fiocchi) hang on either side. 
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BELOW LEFT PAPAL:  Pope Benedict XVI, (Bishop of Rome) showing crossed keys, beehive tierd cap. (Italy). BELOW RIGHT BISHOP:, John Cardinal O'Connor, Bishop of NY, 20c) The hat  was first used by cardinals in 1245 by the late 1300s, the numbers of tassels grew until it was set at 5 rows in 1832.
for more information
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GOOD INSIGHT
FROM JOHN RATTIGAN, CURATOR.
Dear Mr Martin (owner of rosary) , I am not so sure that this is an old rosary.  The piece of bone is a religious relic of St Benedict - I have not seen relic's and rosary's combined in this way before.  There appears to be an old seal included there too.  I would hazard a guess that this object is from a Benedictine monastery, and was used by a Benedictine monk, but without knowing more about the history of the object I cannot speculate any further. Regards John Rattigan, Curator, Clare Museum, Arthur's Row, Ennis, County Clare
FRAGMENTS OF THE ROSARY
Below are fragments of the rosary which appear to be carefully saved. The beads are missing but some of the filigree caps have been saved along with the (LEFT): reliquary cross holding fragments of wood. and (RIGHT): the credo cross.
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~ SENDING YOUR IMAGES ~
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR
Since this is an open museum for antique and vintage rosaries, we encourage you to send your images for consideration. Things we look for:
CLEAR IMAGES (a must) - UNUSUAL CONFIGURATIONS
AND MATERIALS USED
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ANY INFORMATION YOU HAVE IS IMPORTANT
If known, please include
AGE - ORIGIN - SIZE
If you don't know, possibly you have information on its owner, age or history.  Please include anything you feel will identify your rosary or chaplet such as prayers, name of chaplets if known. Remember, the purpose of this site is for the student of the rosary - for those interested in the history of the rosary and how it has been used over the centuries.
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WE MAY BE ABLE TO HELP
So if you have no information, please do not let that stop you from sending it in.  And if we cant help, we will ask for others to add their comments.
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WELCOMING YOUR COMMENTS
You may see rosaries and chaplets in our museum that you know something about, if so, please share - many have and it has become a wonderful resource for those who want to learn about the rosary and its history.
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SEND ATTACHMENTS AND INFORMATION TO:
Please identify your email ROSARY MUSEUM so it is not deleted by mistake.
Mail information and images to:

Rosary Museum

IDENTIFYING RELICS

1st CLASS
 Part of a Saints body (bone, hair, etc.) and the instruments of Christ's passion

2nd CLASS
 An item (clothing, etc) owned by the Saint or instruments of torture used against a martyr

3rd CLASS
 Traditionally a cloth or object that has touched a 1st or 2nd Class Relic or the tomb of a Saint


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FILIGREES   -   CHAPLETS   -   IDENTIFY
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