Medieval Paternoster Rosary, Agate & Copper
A paternoster is a set of Christian prayer beads that were popular long before the 5 decade rosary that is familiar today. In medieval times they were used & worn by both men and women, usually prominently displayed as a sign of the owners piety.
This small looped paternoster is based on styles popular in the 14th to 16th century. It is strung on braided cord as was the custom, and has 3 sets of 9 prayer beads, separated with larger copper guad (focus) beads. The gaud today is often referred to as the Our Father bead.
At the front of this paternoster is a simple forged cross with an aged copper patina
The prayer beads are natural agate with a matte finish and velvety feel, with little copper beads between them to make counting them with your fingers easier. Sets of nine prayer beads were very common, often called "niner rosaries" - many use them for novenas or 9 days of praying for the intercession of a saint.
The style of this paternoster would have been worn over the arm as naturally as we wear a bracelet today, by either men or women of the middle classes of European society in the Middle ages.
Length from mid-back to end of cross: 29cm;
Cross: 5cm tall.
My paternosters come in a handmade (by me) textile pouch to store them in, along with a small information card. Perfect for personal prayer, or a unique gift.
Click links to see
Pocket Rosaries & tenners