Thursday, June 16, 2005

Orts II

As I mentioned in Orts, I've begun to suspect that at least a few of the "tenners" often presented as examples of that type are actually remnants from longer rosaries that have broken.

This suspicion was heightened when I began to notice examples like these for sale on the German version of eBay:

put together bits

The seller was advertising these (in all capital letters) as "WUNDERSCHÖNER ZEHNER ROSENKRANZ, HABE EINE ROSENKRANZ SAMMLUNG VOR 20 JAHREN BEI EINEN PFARRER IM BAYRISCHENWALD GEKAUFT. DER ZUSTAND IST SUPER UND NATÜRLICH AUCH SAMMELWÜRDIG!!"

This roughly translates as "Beautiful one-decade rosary. I bought a 20-year collection from a priest in the Bavarian forest. The contents are super and of course very collectible."

To me these look as though the seller took a lot of old, broken rosary bits and strung them together to make something plausible out of them. There may be ten beads, but in the several of these I saw, there were various more or less random medals, photos, carved wooden things (like the turtle, or whatever it is, on the right) and other objects attached that I think are probably completely irrelevant. I have never seen a genuine rosary that looked anything like these. The right-hand one seems to be strung on wire and doesn't even have ten beads on it.

On the other hand, some of the components look like bits and pieces of the sort of older German rosaries you do see up for sale -- especially the faceted red glass beads in the string on the left, and the wooden beads on some of the other examples whose photos are too poor to reproduce.

I was rather glad in an upside-down sort of way to see that the seller -- who was asking what I thought was a rather steep 35 euros apiece for these "tenners" -- only sold about half of them.I keep trying to decide if I think this is on the borderline of fraudulent selling, and I'm still not sure.

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