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Prayer Bead with Christ and Saint James
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Prayer Bead with Christ and Saint James


Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Prayer beads carved in distinctive black jet with the conjoined, back-to-back heads of Christ and Saint James, both bearded, were popular mementos of the famous pilgrimage shrine dedicated to Saint James (Santiago) at Compostela in Spain. St. James wears the pilgrim’s hat with cockleshell, the badge of his shrine at Compostela. Dealers’ inventories at Compostela record large stocks of jet devotional objects for sale to the pilgrims. Jet was easy to carve and it brilliance was thought to intercept the evil eye. Jet is a dense black coal widely mined in northern Spain. It can be carved and polished to a bright sheen; however, it is brittle and it takes great skill to carve even very small objects.
Exhibitions
  • World of Wonder. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1971-1972.
  • Jewelry - Ancient to Modern. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1979-1980.
Provenance Marvin C. Ross [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1941, by gift.
Credit Gift of Marvin C. Ross, 1941

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Creator
Period
1525-1575 (Renaissance)
Medium
jet
(Stone)
Accession Number
41.233
Measurements
15/16 x 5/8 x 11/16 in. (2.3 x 1.6 x 1.8 cm)
Geographies
  • Spain (Place of Origin)

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