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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "A Fine Italian Renaissance Carved Ivory Paternoster Rosary Bead"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
In the form of a ‘memento mori’ skull
Early 17th Century
Size : 3 cm high, 2.5 cm wide, 3 cm deep – 1¼ ins high, 1 ins wide, 1¼ ins deep
Originating in the concept of the Paradise Gardens of Persia, which allude to the Old Testament Garden of Eden, the cloistered rose garden became an essential part of medieval architecture; a secluded high walled garden filled with fragrant roses. The rose garden was an ideal place for meditation and prayer. Collections of medieval prayers and hymns were bound into books and called Rosaria; ‘flower gardens’. By the middle of the 15th century rose gardens, rose garlands and rosaries were all associated with the Virgin Mary and the Christ child in paintings and illuminations. Paintings of this period are often set in rose gardens, under rose arbours or near a rose bush. Angels and the Christ child are wearing or holding rosaries. It is unclear at what point the word meaning ‘a garden of roses’ was transformed into ‘a string of beads used to count prayers’, but none the less the spiritual identity of roses was extended to beads which came to symbolise a permanent garden of prayer called ‘the rosary’.