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Prayer bead

Flemish, c.1500–25. Pearwood or sandalwood, two hemispherical parts, hinged together and fastened with silver mounts and clasp.

About the size of a walnut, this intricately carved Flemish bead would once have figured in its owner’s most private devotions. It probably formed part of a string of rosary beads hanging from a girdle. Upon opening the silver clasp, the owner would have marvelled at the tiny figures within: the Virgin and Child in one half and St Cecilia playing the organ accompanied by an angel in the other.

C.B. Marlay Bequest

Cat. no. 252

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