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Bead - St Jerome and St Catherine of Alexandria

St Jerome and St Catherine of Alexandria

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Netherlands (possibly, northern, made)
    Lower Rhine (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1500 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery, case 9, shelf 2

Throughout the ages artists and craftsmen have made virtuoso carvings as a display of their skill and ingenuity. Although ivory, wood and stone are relatively easy to carve, other materials such as gemstones are much more demanding. Most of these carvings were made for wealthy patrons and collectors, who delighted in the rarity of the material and quality of the carving. The intricately carved pendant once hung from a rosary. Popular from the 1450s onwards, a rosary was a string of prayer beads used during prayer and contemplation. The beads were dedicated to the 15 Mysteries of the Life of Christ. Elaborate yet microscopic rosary pendants were fashionable between about 1480 and 1520.

Place of Origin

Netherlands (possibly, northern, made)
Lower Rhine (possibly, made)


ca. 1500 (made)



Materials and Techniques


Descriptive line

Rosary bead, boxwood, by an unknown artist, probably Northern Netherlands or Lower Rhine, ca. 1500

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Williamson, Paul. Netherlandish Sculpture 1450-1550. London, 2002. pp. 142-3, ill., cat.no. 46
Inventory of Art Objects Acquired in the Year 1860. In: Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, Arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol I. London: Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 1

Labels and date

FRENCH or FLEMISH; about 1500
Boxwood, carved with figures of St. Jerome and St. Catherine. [pre October 2000]




Sculpture; Accessories; Jewellery


Sculpture Collection

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