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Rosary, 8 beads (chapelet) (Bead 6, side 2)

Rosary, 8 beads (chapelet) (Bead 6, side 2)
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Front, pendant

Bead 1, side 2

Bead 1, side 2, detail

Bead 1, side 1

Bead 2, side 1

Bead 2, side 2

Bead 3, side 1

Bead 3, side 2

Bead 4, side 1

Bead 4, side 2

Bead 5, side 1

Bead 5, side 2

Bead 6, side 1

Front, pendant

Side 2

Side 1

Secular. Memento Mori.

Repository Institution

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New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art


Ivory;silver;partially gilded mounts

Height: 627mm
Width: 54mm
Depth: 45mm (overall); Top Terminal

Primary beads with parted faces
Parted faces: face of tonsured priest or monk; face of bearded tonsured cleric; skull; vermin; worms (Death).
Smaller beads with 2 faces
Busts of men and women in profile, contemporary costume. Skeleton in bust; scroll with engraved inscription 'COGITA MORI' ('Think to die'). Skeleton in bust; scroll with engraved inscription 'SV QVOT ERIS' (i.e. 'SVM QVOD ERIS', 'I am what you will be').
Foliated decoration.

Ann Arbor 1975: Germany, early 16th century.
Museum's opinion 2012: Germany, c. 1500-1525.


Carved in the round.

Object Condition
Missing: beads.

Collection of J. Pierpont Morgan (d. 1913), New York and London; estate of J. Pierpont Morgan (1913-1917); gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917.

Images of Love and Death in Renaissance and Late Medieval Art, exhibition catalogue, ed. by W. R. Levin, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan, November 1975-January 1976, no. 83, pl. LXIII.
R. H. Randall, Masterpieces of Ivory from the Walters Art Gallery (New York, 1985), p. 248 (in relation to no. 368).
P. Williamson, 'Medieval Ivory Carvings in the Wernher Collection', in Apollo (May 2002), pp. 17-22 (p. 21, fig. 17).
P. Williamson and G. Davies, Medieval Ivory Carvings 1200-1550 (London, 2014), p. 474, fig. 1, in relation to no. 164.


Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photograph by Thomas Vinton, Medieval Art and The Cloisters.

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