The incredible variety of Catholic rosaries never ceases to amaze and inspire me... from sublime devotionals crafted of precious metals and gemstones to simple pilgrimage rosaries that often become a most treasured religious companion. Made in Germany and acquired from an Austrian collector, this charming vintage example is just such a rosary, as evidenced by devotional smoothing on the center medal and wear to the crucifix.
The medal depicts the miraculous wooden image of Mary and the Christ Child in the Basilica Mariä Geburt (Basilica of the Birth of the Virgin Mary) in the town of Mariazell, Austria. Three miraculous legends began pilgrimages to this site in 1200. Now a national sanctuary, Mariazell is one of the most visited shrines in Europe. The basilica is depicted on the other side of the medal.
The crucifix is inlaid with white celluloid that mimics mother of pearl. An INRI banner and nicely detailed molded corpus are pegged into the celluloid and underlying cross. The verso, which is marked "Germany" at the bottom, has blemishes to the surface finish and some that go into the metal. None affect the integrity of the cross; nor are they disturbing to the touch.
The rosary uses an interesting combination of metals. The lightweight center is silver plated (tested). The bead pins are an unknown white metal, and the figure-8 links separating the decades and crucifix are magnetic. The pins and links have dark patina while the center and chrome-looking cross are brighter in color.
Last but not least are the wonderful, rough-faceted glass beads. These molded English-cut beads are pale white with an icy glow, complemented by the celluloid in the cross. Because they are translucent they could also be described as opalescent, although they do not flash other colors. All beads are original and in excellent vintage condition.
This simple yet significant rosary is perfect for daily use and a great addition to your collection of pilgrimage rosaries. The beads are highly textured and easy to pray, the links and chain are sturdy, and it is lightweight enough to carry in your purse, pocket or briefcase. Comes boxed and ready for gift-giving.
Weight – 22 grams
Length – 19-1/4 inches total; 6-3/8 inch drop
Beads – 6 mm
Crucifix – 1-1/2 x 7/8 inches
Medal – 1/2 inches
Suitable for wearing
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