Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Rosary Bead with Christ Carrying the Cross

South Netherlandish
2 11/16 × 2 1/2 × 1 5/16 in. (6.8 × 6.4 × 3.4 cm) With attached loop: 2 11/16 × 2 1/2 × 1 5/8 in. (6.8 × 6.4 × 4.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
Not on view
The rosary, a fifteen-part prayer developed primarily by the Dominican order, grew in popularity during the fifteenth century. Chains of beads called chaplets or rosaries helped devotees to keep track of the sequence during prayer. Wealthy patrons commissioned beads of the finest craftsmanship and materials, but even at the height of production, beads that open like miniature tabernacles are thought to have been quite rare. The Biblical inscriptions include an exhortation to open the bead and meditate on the scene within: "Attend, and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow" (Lamentations 1:12).
Inscription: Exterior inscription in Gothic letters: LEVEMVS CORDA NOSTRA CVM MANIBVC AD DNM(Dominum) I CEL (coelos) and ATTENDITE (ET) VIDETE SI ESY DOLOR SICVT DOLOR MEVS (Lamentations, Vulgate version, iii:41 and i:12)

Interior inscription in Gothic letters: Susceperunt autem Jesum et eduxerunt. Et bajulans sibi crucem, exivit im eum qui dicitur Calvariae locum, hebraice autm Golgotha, ubi crucifixerunt eum, et cum eo alios duos hinc et hinc, medium autem Jesum (John 19:17-18)
Baron Albert Oppenheim, Cologne(sold 1906); J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (1906–1917)
Reusens, Edmond Henri Joseph, ed. Exposition Rétrospective d'Art Industriel, Bruxelles 1888: Catalogue Officiel. Brussels: P. Weissenbruch, 1888. no. 3669, p. 502.

Kunsthistorische Ausstellung, Düsseldorf 1902: Illustrirter Katalog. Düsseldorf: August-Bagel-Verlag, 1902. no. 1197, p. 105.

Molinier, Émile. Collection du Baron Albert Oppenheim: Tableaux et objets d'art, catalogue précédé d'une introduction. Paris: Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts, 1904. no. 93, p. 41, pl. LXII.

Williamson, George Charles. Catalogue of the Collections of Jewels and Precious Works of Art: The Property of J. Pierpont Morgan. Deluxe ed. London: Chiswick Press, 1910. no. 39, pp. 62, 63–64, pl. XXIII, color pl. 16.

Tangerman, E. J. Whittling and woodcarving. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1936. p. 254, fig. 386, 387.

Dingelstedt, Kurt. "Betnuß." Reallexikon zur Deutschen Kunstgeschichte 2 (1948). pp. 377–78.

Portland Art Museum. Masterworks in Wood: The Christian Tradition. Portland, OR: Portland Art Association, 1976. no. 33.

Romanelli, Susan J. "South Netherlandish Boxwood Devotional Sculpture 1475–1530." PhD diss., Columbia University, 1992. no. 26, pp. 279–80, 32, 57, 62, 146 ,147, fig. 43–44.

Boehm, Barbara Drake, and Alexandra Suda. "Devotion." In Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures, edited by Lisa Ellis, and Alexandra Suda. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 2016. p. 96.

Dandridge, Pete, and Lisa Ellis. "Making." In Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures, edited by Lisa Ellis, and Alexandra Suda. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 2016. pp. 20, 24.

Dandridge, Pete, and Lisa Ellis. "Workshop Practices." In Small Wonders: Late-Gothic Boxwood Micro-Carvings from the Low Countries, edited by Frits Scholten. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 2016. pp. 558–59, fig. 256.

Scholten, Frits, ed. Small Wonders: Late-Gothic Boxwood Micro-Carvings from the Low Countries. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 2016. no. 17, pp. 156–57, 610.

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