Antique Stanhope Rosary, Rare 'Holy Trinity Rosary, Souvenir of Pilgrimage to The Grotto at Lourdes, Circa 1880
Antique Stanhope Rosary, Rare 'Holy Trinity Rosary, Souvenir of Pilgrimage to The Grotto at Lourdes, Circa 1880
Antique Stanhope Rosary, Rare 'Holy Trinity Rosary, Souvenir of Pilgrimage to The Grotto at Lourdes, Circa 1880
Antique Stanhope Rosary, Rare 'Holy Trinity Rosary, Souvenir of Pilgrimage to The Grotto at Lourdes, Circa 1880
Antique Stanhope Rosary, Rare 'Holy Trinity Rosary, Souvenir of Pilgrimage to The Grotto at Lourdes, Circa 1880

Antique Stanhope Rosary, Rare 'Holy Trinity Rosary, Souvenir of Pilgrimage to The Grotto at Lourdes, Circa 1880

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Antique Stanhope Rosary, Rare 'Holy Trinity Rosary, Souvenir of Pilgrimage to The Grotto at Lourdes, Circa 1880

This beautiful rosary has a cross of Ebony inset with a Stanhope viewer. Each of the beads has been set with three small pieces of silver to represent The Holy Trinity.

The images in the viewer are of the grotto at Lourdes and of Saint Bernadette. The view of the basilica does not show the new church so this rosary dates to before the construction started in 1883.

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.

The only drawback was that, in order to view the photographs it was required to have a microscope, which was a very expensive item at the time.

Stanho-scopes are optical devices that enable the viewing of microphotographs without using a microscope. They were invented by René Dagron in 1857. Dagron bypassed the need for an expensive microscope to view the microscopic photographs by attaching the microphotograph at the end of a modified Stanhope lens.

This lovely rosary measures 65 centimetres in length.