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Rosary bead, 2 faces (Side)

Rosary bead, 2 faces (Side)
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Secular. Memento mori.

Repository Institution

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Antwerp, Museum Mayer van den Bergh


Ivory;copper (fittings)

Height: 30mm

Side 1: female head.
Side 2: skull (Death); frog; worms.

De Coo 1933: France, 15th-16th century.
De Coo 1969: Southern Netherlands (?), 1st half of the 16th century.
Museum's opinion 2012: Southern Netherlands (?), 1st half of the 16th century.


Carved in the round.

Object Condition
Pierced with a copper bar, copper suspension (ring on top, hook at bottom).

Purchased from Van Waegeningh, Bergen-op-Zoom in 1897, by Fritz Mayer van den Bergh (b. 1858, d. 1901), Antwerp; upon his death, his mother Henriëtte had a purpose-built museum erected (1901-1904) to house his collection.

J. De Coo, Catalogue du Musée Mayer van den Bergh (Antwerp, 1933), no. 225.
C. Pieske, 'Eine barocke Lebens-und Todesallegorie', in Jahrbuch der Hamburger Kunstsammlungen 9 (1964), p. 8 n. 4.
J. De Coo, Museum Mayer Van den Bergh, Catalogus 2. Beeldhouwkunst, plaketten, antiek (Antwerp, 1969), no. 2286.
J. Koldeweij, Geloof en Geluk: sieraad en devotie in middeleeuws Vlaanderen, exhibition catalogue, Bruges, Gruuthuse, 2006-2007, no. 18.16, pp. 254-255.
S. Balace and A. De Poorter, Tussen hemel en hel. Sterven in de middeleeuwen, 600-1600, exhibition catalogue, Brussels, Koninklijk Museum voor Kunst en Geschiedenis, 2010-2011, p. 280, no. 152


Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp © Bart Huysmans and Michel Wuyts.

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