Bambino Paternoster - Jet and Coral, 16th century Italian

CO50
Bambino Paternoster - Jet and Coral, 16th century Italian
  • Bambino Paternoster - Jet and Coral, 16th century Italian
  • Bambino Paternoster - Jet and Coral, 16th century Italian
  • Bambino Paternoster - Jet and Coral, 16th century Italian
  • Bambino Paternoster - Jet and Coral, 16th century Italian
  • Bambino Paternoster - Jet and Coral, 16th century Italian
  • Bambino Paternoster - Jet and Coral, 16th century Italian
USD
$62.00

In a lovely early Italian Renaissance painting of "Madonna con Bambino" by Ambrogio da Fossano, an adorable baby Jesus is playing with a red and black Paternoster like this one! The painter, who was from the northwest of Italy and worked there, seems to have created this work sometime between 1500 and 1523. The painting is at the Rijksmuseum and can be seen online (click on the link above to see the image!).

In the painting, the loop of beads appears to have fifty black ones in decades of ten with red marker beads and a black tassel. Trying to faithfully recreate this Paternoster, we used both Black Jet, which is a hard form of coal, as well as Red Coral, which was a rare type of sea coral found only in the Mediterranean (ours is a dyed coral, for it is next to impossible to find the real thing today). Both are fairly lightweight for gemstones and were used quite frequently in the Middle Ages for pricier Paternosters.

Our Bambino Paternoster is strung on a twisted black silk cord, finished with a thin black silk tassel, and anchored with a large black horn bead above the tassel. The smaller Jet beads - yes, real Jet! - are 6mm and the Coral beads are slightly larger. Laid out straight, it measures 12 inches long. As the prayers are said with each bead, one slides them along the cord of a Paternoster, which may have a lot or a little of slack.... the one in the painting has an awful lot of slack, so we gave ours quite a bit too.