Rosaries in unusual hands! April 11, 2016 10:30 1 Comment

I have been researching old images of rosaries and just have to share these two with you!

Fox preaching to geese

This image is actually a 15th century cookie mold from Bonn in Germany. It's a classic illustration of an old proverb, showing a fox in a monk's cowl preaching to a congregation of geese.

The proverb says “When a fox preaches, take care of your geese.” The proverb is about keeping an awareness of hidden agendas even when the "preacher" speaks fine words - the fox has but one agenda which is to eat the geese. The proverb says that if you let your guard down then Mr Fox will do what comes naturally, so stay alert.

You can see the fox up in his pulpit. He has already collected two geese - their heads are sticking out of his hood - yet the congregation of pious geese is still listening to him. You can tell they are pious because they are all carrying rosaries in their bills!

Cookie molds are a form of late-medieval folk art from Germany and they showed images of religious, proverbial and humorous art of the times.

Rabbit with rosary illustration

And here is a rabbit with a rosary! This pretty image is from the border of a medieval illuminated manuscript. Back in the days when texts were painstakingly copied out line by line entirely by hand, the monks often added wonderful hand-drawn images to the borders of the pages, as well as the fabulously ornate lettering.

This year I will be introducing a new line of medieval-inspired rosaries to my shop. My desk is covered with beautiful pictures from the past as I design a range of medieval rosaries made with modern materials. Keep an eye out for them in about a month!