We couldn’t but have to share a little discovery made while browsing the collection of the British Museum!
Here you are a carved boxwood rosary bead or prayer-nut made in Netherlands around the 16th century. It’s widest diameter is only 6.5. cm – and you just have to look inside to be amazed with what you see! Want to look inside?
It opens in two halves, upper one closed by two doors. On the outside of the doors, the Virgin in the Temple (left), Marriage of the Virgin (right); inside the same doors, Moses and the Brazen Serpent (left) and the Deposition (right). Inside the upper half of the nut, in deep and delicate relief, the Crucifixion beneath a vaulted roof, staged on several levels.
The lower half of the prayer-nut is shut with one hinged flap which telescopes open, and is carved on both sides: on the front, The Annunciation with the words spoken by the Virgin and by Gabriel within the scene as scrolls; on the other side, The Nativity, with smaller scenes of the Circumcision, Presentation in the Temple and Christ among the doctors. Inside the lower half of the prayer-nut, carved in deep relief is the Bearing of the Cross. On the outside of both halves, Gothic tracery and flower-heads; suspension ring; inscribed.
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