Turquoise Paternoster Rosary with Memento Mori & Tassel
Medieval style paternoster rosary with gemstone beads and copper accents, made in the style that would be carried in the hand or attached to clothing with a brooch for everyday wear. Special features in this paternoster are the Memento Mori carved marble skull beads, long silky tassel and ornate copper cross.
Memento Mori are a traditional addition to any rosary or chaplet, intended for the living as a reminder of the shortness of mortal life. Read about them here: Memento Mori.
This paternoster is made with 10 turquoise mosaic stone beads, each about 14mm across, strung on strong rosary cord with copper accent beads separating them. A commonly used prayer was the Our Father (Pater Noster) or Lord's Prayer, and so the set of beads themselves became known as paternosters.
It was common for Middle Ages prayer beads to be quite large, and prominently worn or carried in normal day-today activities. As well as their obvious use in counting prayers, a paternoster was a visible sign of social standing and had many other uses in daily life. They were used like an abacus for counting, and even for timing cooking by a number of prayers (boil for 14 Aves).
At one end is an ornate copper cross with a plain back and a single Our Father prayer bead, known then as the "gaud" bead. A gaud was usually larger and fancier than the smaller prayer beads - quite a feature in paternosters. This one is made with a large agate rondelle held between 2 marble skull beads, the Memento Mori.
At the other end is a large jasper "touchstone"; jasper was considered a stone of strength and healing. The paternoster is completed with a silky tassel with fancy antiqued copper caps.
Length: 39cm / 15.5 inches;
Cross: 5cm / 2 inches tall;
Tassel: 9cm / 3.5 inches;
Memento Mori: 1.2cm tall.
This well-made paternoster is made to last for years and comes in a handmade pouch to store it in. A great piece for personal prayer, accessorizing a medieval or renaissance costume for reenactment or collectors of unusual rosaries.