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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Paternoster Recipes Series: St. Dominic, or the Penitent Knight's Paternoster

The researcher dreams of finding exacting descriptions of how beads were used because by the time they make it to us, most strands have beads have either lost their original configuration due to the cording rotting away.  Sketches and artwork could be considered inaccurate because no one knows how important it was to early artists to portray the correct number of beads, and it is almost impossible in most cases to tell the material used to construct the beads.  Statues have the added difficulty of being "black and white," thus rendering bead identification difficult.  

So when a documented piece of writing is found that describes not only the color of beads, but also their order, it is a medieval bead enthusiast's dream!  Almost like a recipe for art, a guideline or "how-to" on construction which challenges me to recreate that object so I can hold it in my own two hands.

The "Knight's Paternoster" is such an item.  Described in a book written in 1483 by Alanus de Rupe called the Unser lieben frauen psalter,  the particular rosary was prescribed by Saint Dominic for a penitent knight.

Chris Laning from Paternoster Row obtained a translation, which follows:

"In the next-following figure is a paternoster that has five large stones, and after every one large stone should be ten small. The first large stone of the five is many-colored and signifies the multiplicity of your sins. The second stone is light colored, and signifies the uncertain death that is in your certain future. The third stone is red, and signifies the Last Judgement at which you must give an account of your life. The fourth stone of the five is black, and signifies hell. The fifth stone of the paternoster is gilt, and signifies the glory and joy of the saints: which glory and joy is promised to those who keep the commandment of God."

Now it is just a matter of finding the correct beads to recreate this wonderful paternoster.  Perhaps once I finish my version of the emerald rosary in the Munich Museum . . .

As a final note, I included a photo of one of my new listings.  

Come by my etsy store called Paternoster Ladies to see even more of my work.  New items every day!  Because paternosters are the BEST accessory.

1 comment:

  1. If you're interested in my examples of this recipe, there are two of them here and here.


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