Rosary thumbnail 1
Rosary thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Rosary

1800-1867 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

After the prolonged and destructive Thirty Years War of 1618-48, Europe split into a Catholic south and a Protestant north. The rosary, used to help make sure that prayers were said correctly, was banished from Protestant countries. In the south it was commonly worn as an ornament, as well as a declaration of Catholic identity.

The main purpose of this rosary must have been decorative, as it is far too fragile to have been used for counting prayers on a regular basis. The shape of the filigree cross, and crown above it, are typical of Italian rosaries. It was bought as part of the Castellani collection of Italian Peasant Jewellery at the International Exhibition, Paris, 1867.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gold chain with pearls and filigree rosettes
Brief Description
Gold filigree and pearl rosary, Tuscany (Italy), 1800-1867.
Physical Description
Rosary, consisting of nine decades with pendant cross. The rosary is made of gold chain with pearl beads, with filigree rosettes either side of the paternoster beads. The crown and cross are also made of gold filigree set with seed pearls.
Dimensions
  • Doubled length, including cross length: 49cm
  • Width: 2.5cm
  • Depth: 0.4cm
Subjects depicted
Summary
After the prolonged and destructive Thirty Years War of 1618-48, Europe split into a Catholic south and a Protestant north. The rosary, used to help make sure that prayers were said correctly, was banished from Protestant countries. In the south it was commonly worn as an ornament, as well as a declaration of Catholic identity.



The main purpose of this rosary must have been decorative, as it is far too fragile to have been used for counting prayers on a regular basis. The shape of the filigree cross, and crown above it, are typical of Italian rosaries. It was bought as part of the Castellani collection of Italian Peasant Jewellery at the International Exhibition, Paris, 1867.
Bibliographic Reference
'Italian Jewellery as worn by the Peasants of Italy', Arundel Society, London, 1868, Plate 4
Collection
Accession Number
128-1868

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record createdOctober 24, 2008
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