French Carved Ivory Janus Head Rosary Bead Depicting the Head of Christ and a Memento Mori Human Skull
French Carved Ivory Janus Head Rosary Bead Depicting the Head of Christ and a Memento Mori Human Skull
French Carved Ivory Janus Head Rosary Bead Depicting the Head of Christ and a Memento Mori Human Skull

French Carved Ivory Janus Head Rosary Bead Depicting the Head of Christ and a Memento Mori Human Skull

1600 to 1700 France

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A French Carved Ivory Janus Head Rosary Bead Depicting the Head of Christ and a Memento Mori Human Skull
Pierced longitudinally
Late 17th Century

Size: 3cm high, 2.5cm wide, 3cm deep – 1¼ ins high, 1 ins wide, 1¼ ins deep
Provenance: Ex London Private collection
See: Finch and Co catalogue no. 7, item no. 70, for another similar example
There can be no doubt that these objects were made to be contemplated. Christ the Redeemer is wearing the Crown of Thorns and is confronted with the face of death, a symbolic reminder of the Incarnation and of the Passion. This ivory janus head was the terminal bead and was probably in a type of open ended rosary known as a 'men's tenner' which was a favourite with men in the late 17th century.
Medium
Ivory
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