Antique Stanhope Rosary, Bronze Chain and Stanhope Viewer, Souvenir of Pilgrimage to The Shrine of Saint Regis
A Stanhope Cross takes various forms and shapes, usually decorative and often part of a necklace, with one special adornment: an integral magnifying lens. This one is a beautiful five decade rosary.
This type of cross is named after Third Earl of Stanhope, a British statesman, scientist, mathematician and engineer. One of his inventions was a lens for use as a simple, one-piece microscope.
Because of its simplicity, and particularly after the development of photography, it was popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
This particular example is 2.5 cm by 4 cm and is carved from a single piece of very fine bone.
Each piece is intact on this wonderful rosary and each of the 'Our Father' beads has been hand carved as has the heart shaped link medal. The whole rosary measures 53 cm in length and weighs 33.7 grams