Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Half of a Prayer Bead with Jesus Carrying the Cross

Date:
early 16th century
Culture:
Netherlandish
Medium:
Boxwood
Dimensions:
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)
Classification:
Sculpture-Miniature-Wood
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.473a
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 10
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: Around exterior: LEVEMVS CORDA NOSTRA CVM MANIBVS AD D[omi]N[u]MI C[o]EL[os]
(Let us raise our hearts together with our hands to the Lord in heaven. [Lamentations 3:41])
Around border of interior: SVSCEPERV[n]T AVT[em] IHESVMET EDVX[e]RV[n]T. ET BAIVLANS SIBI CRVCEM
(Then therefore he delivered him to them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him forth. And he bore his own cross [John 19:16–17])
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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