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Delightful 800 Silver & Prosser Bead Rosary – Angel Ex Voto – Germany
This antique Catholic rosary will delight you with its beautiful design, unique components and wonderful, grounded energy. The curvy budded crucifix and filigree paters feel soft and feminine, while the rare navy blue glass Prosser beads feel strong and traditional.
In 1840, the Prosser brothers developed a technique in England for manufacturing buttons by molding cold paste under great pressure and then firing it. This results in rich opaque colors and vibrant whites that resemble porcelain and have a seam of varying thickness around the middle. I have never seen a rosary with dark blue Prosser beads, making this quite scarce. Note that all beads are original and in excellent antique condition, and that one bead on the drop has been replaced by a filigree bead.
The large filigree paters have decorative beadwork around the center and are also in excellent antique condition with no dents or missing filigree. This particular style of filigree originated in Germany and Bavaria in the 17th and 18th centuries. Mass production began in the late 1700s, centered in Schwäbisch Gmünd in upper Bavaria. Although early works were handcrafted by families in the area, machine manufacture of the components was eventually introduced to meet the demand for filigree.
At the center is a small, heart-shaped Miraculous Medal, inscribed in German. The budded trefoil crucifix features a gentle engraved pattern on the arms of the cross and along the perimeter. A sweet winged ex voto is attached at the bottom bearing the face of an angel. The molded corpus, flush with the cross, offers the perfect combination of details and devotional smoothing. The crucifix has been hand-wired to the drop; upon request, I would be happy to replace this link with a sterling silver jump ring.
Both components are hand stamped as evidenced by their slightly asymmetrical shapes and display dark patina that I left untouched. The crucifix is stamped 800 silver on the verso and although the center is not stamped, I believe it to be the same. Acid testing would have ruined the finish, and I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I did test the filigree beads, but the results are always hard to interpret because there are few large enough areas to test. I believe them to be 800 as well, as they do not have the yellowish patina of lesser grade alloy.
Likely from the turn of the twentieth century, this sturdy religious antique is ready to support the prayers of a new and appreciative owner. Comes boxed and ready for gift-giving.
Weight – 26 grams
Length – 17-3/4 inches total; 6 inch drop
Beads – Average 6mm; paters 8mm
Crucifix – 2-1/8 x 1-1/4 inches
Medal – 1/2 inches
Snug, but may be suitable for wearing
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Donna Marie Guardino
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