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Rare French Bone Rosary – Stanhope Crucifix with WWI Victory Sites
Rare in this country are these fascinating bone and Stanhope rosaries that depict sites in Northern France near the Belgian border at which the British and Allied Forces fought the Germans during WWI. Note that these are not battle scenes but views of cathedrals in specific locations: Valenciennes, Roubaix, Cambrai, Lille, Armentiers and Tourcoing. As you can imagine the pictures are tiny and except for a few spots at the edges, are incredibly crisp, clear and readable.
Likewise, the entire rosary is in excellent vintage condition. The hand-cut bone beads are all original with no chips or cracks. The ave beads are nice and smooth; the larger pater beads have been carved into rosettes. Instead of chain, this rosary has twisted figure-8 links that appear to be silvered brass. Some are golden and shiny; others are dark with patina.
A traditional heart is at the center, nicely carved with a cross-hatch design. Given the porous nature of bone, the bottom edge shows some wear but the heart itself is structurally sound. The crucifix is excellent with no damage or obvious wear.
This microphotographic lens was developed by Charles, 3rd Earl of Stanhope (1753–1816). The last Stanhope lenses were made by Roger Reymond from 1972 through his death in 1998 at which time the workshop was sold and equipment dismantled. Since then, microphotographic lenses are still called Stanhopes, but they are no longer made using traditional methods.
This rare and unique collectible is perfect for anyone who enjoys religious artifacts linked to specific historic events. I hope this unusual devotional finds its way to someone who appreciates its beauty and history! Comes boxed and ready for gift-giving.
Weight – 25 grams
Length – 18-1/2 inches total; 6-1/2 inch drop
Beads – 7 mm; paters 8 mm
Crucifix – 1-3/8 x 1 inches
Medal – 1/2 inches
Snug, but may be suitable for wearing
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Donna Marie Guardino, Cleveland, OH
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