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Rosary

Date:
ca. 1500–1525
Culture:
German
Medium:
Ivory, silver, and partially gilded mounts
Dimensions:
Overall: 24 11/16 x 2 1/8 x 1 3/4 in. (62.7 x 5.4 x 4.5 cm) Top Terminal: 1 5/8 x 1 5/16 x 1 1/2 in. (4.2 x 3.4 x 3.8 cm) 2nd bead: 2 1/16 x 1 11/16 x 1 in. (5.2 x 4.3 x 2.6 cm) 3rd bead: 2 3/16 x 1 7/8 x 11/16 in. (5.6 x 4.7 x 1.7 cm) 4th bead: 2 5/16 x 1 15/16 x 1 in. (5.8 x 4.9 x 2.6 cm) 5th bead: 2 9/16 x 2 x 1 1/16 in. (6.5 x 5.1 x 2.7 cm) 6th bead: 2 1/2 x 1 13/16 x 7/8 in. (6.3 x 4.6 x 2.2 cm) 7th bead: 2 3/4 x 2 1/8 x 1 in. (7 x 5.4 x 2.5 cm) Bottom Terminal: 2 1/16 x 1 7/16 x 1 15/16 in. (5.2 x 3.6 x 5 cm)
Classification:
Ivories
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.306
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 306
Each of the memento mori beads at the ends shows a human face on one side (apparently that of a monk) that is stripped of its flesh on the other. Some of the medallion beads seem to express the same notion, showing a fashionably dressed figure on one side and a skeleton on the other. Some have images of the living on both sides; while they are related in form and iconography, they appear to be by different hands. Similar memento mori beads and medallions are known, but such a long strand is rare.
Inscription: COGITA MORI (on one bead)
SVE.VOT.ERIS (on second bead from bottom)
Laurentine Françoise Bernage Lelong ; [Lelong sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris (December 8–10, 1902, no. 68)]; J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (until 1917); Estate of J. Pierpont Morgan(1913–1917)
Catalogue des objets d'art et de haute curiosité de l'antiquité [...] dépendant des collections de Mme. C. Lelong. Paris: Galerie Georges Petit, December 8–10, 1902. no. 68, p. 27, ill. p. 26.

"La Saison de l'Hotel Drouot." L'Art: Revue Mensuelle Illustrée 61 (1902). p. 708, ill.

Europe in Torment, 1450–1550. Providence: Brown University, 1974. no. 47, pp. 118–19.

Levin, William R., ed. Images of Love and Death in Late Medieval and Renaissance Art. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Museum of Art, 1975. no. 83, p. 117, pl. LXIII.

Williamson, Paul, and Glyn Davies. Medieval Ivory Carvings, 1200–1550. Vol. 1. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2014. p. 474.



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