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Rosary bead

Date:
ca. 1525–50
Culture:
Flemish
Medium:
Boxwood, silver gilt
Dimensions:
2 5/8 × 1 3/4 in. (6.7 × 4.4 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture-Miniature
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.328
Not on view
Rendered in virtuoso detail, this rosary bead juxtaposes images of life and death. The boxwood bead opens to reveal Death appearing unannounced at a meal beneath an image of the Last Judgment in the upper hemisphere. The Latin inscription reads, "Stay awake, for you do now know at which house your Lord will come" (Matthew 24:42).
Inscription: Engraved on silver frame: (above) OMNES.STABIMVS.ANTE.TRIBVNAL.CHRISTI.AD.ROMANOS.14; (below) VIGILATE.ERGO.QVIA.NESCITIS.QVA.HORA.DOMINVS.MATH.24

[trans.: Stay awake, for you do now know at which house your Lord will come" (Matthew 24:42)]
Jacques Victor, Comte de la Béraudière (until 1885; sale of Béraudière collection, 1885, no. 551, p. 108); Charles Mannheim (in 1898) ; J. Pierpont Morgan , London and New York (until 1917; to MMA)
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