Saturday, January 29, 2005

News of the (slightly less) weird

As readers of this blog know, I hang out on eBay now and then, to check out the rosaries and other religious goods for sale. Some surprisingly old and magnificent things show up there -- the "skulls" rosary in Death's-head devotions for instance -- but occasionally I just have to post some "News of the Weird" about some of the more peculiar rosaries that turn up. I consider this educational .

This time, these are rosaries on the strange side, but a bit closer to what we think of as "normal" -- I think.

Alphabet beads
alpha rosary

The person selling this one was using it as an example and offering to make a "custom" version for the buyer with whatever names they wanted -- presumably, names of family or loved ones or whoever one wants to be reminded of while praying. I've also seen one of these that spelled out "+-A-V-E-M-A-R-I-A-+" in each decade.

Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys rosary

It's true that medieval rosaries sometimes had pendants or charms attached that were quite secular, such as scent flasks or lovers' tokens. Still, it's rather startling to see this as the modern equivalent! The beads are in the team's colors as well. Several other "sports team" rosaries were for sale at the same time as this one, presumably by the same seller, who may or may not also be responsible for this one:

100% Italian
Italian rosary

In the colors of the Italian flag, with a central medallion that looks like one of the Popes (the inscription is too small to read) and a hanging charm that says "100% Italian." Irish and Polish versions were available too.