Authentic 1916 WW1 brass pull chain rosary prototype.
The military only started giving rosaries to chaplains to pass on to the troops in 1916- before we entered world war one in 1917. The government used civilian contractors to make these different prototypes of rosaries that they, the contractors, thought would hold up well in diverse climates. These contractors used a variety of materials for their prototypes including bronze, brass, tin, iron, steel, and pewter. Most of the prototype rosaries had a mixture of metals.
There are no maker or metal hallmarks on the prototypes or soldiers rosaries except for the chaplains rosaries which were made of, and are marked, sterling. The government then decided which prototypes to use for the troops. Interesting fact, the government ordered so many rosaries made during WWI, that there were enough to be given to our soldiers during WWII. Prototype pull chain military rosaries are rare. The soldiers rosaries all had a depiction of Jesus carrying the cross on the back of the centerpiece, and usually, but not always, a depiction of Our Lady of Sorrows on the front of the centerpiece. This was not always the case with the prototypes, and the back of the centerpiece was occasionally blank. The depictions on the front of the centerpiece varied. This is an authentic 1916, World war one, brass and tin (I believe. Might be iron or steel) pull chain rosary prototype. They used many different materials for the WWI rosary prototypes to find out which ones were liked as well as which materials would travel the best. Oftentimes, a crate of military rosaries would rust before even getting to the soldiers overseas. This particular prototype is made out of brass with a tin centerpiece. (As you can see by the pictures, tin was quickly ruled out for use in the regulation rosaries as it rusted too quickly.) This amazing WW1 rosary prototype has aged well, considering that it's over 100 years old. The tin centerpiece is rusty with patina that comes from both age and weather. The brass Crucifix is in great condition on the front with some patina on the back. The front of the crucifix has some blackening, or bluing, left on the beads and the crucifix. (Blackening was done to rosaries so that no light came from them at night, giving their position away.) I gently cleaned the rosary, but was careful to leave all of the pantina, including the blackening. This is a fantastic piece for anyone's collection.
- Crucifix is 1 1/2 inches long and 7/8th inches wide.
- Centerpiece is 1/2 inches long and 1/2 inches wide.
- Length of rosary to centerpiece is 13 inches long.
- Length of rosary centerpiece to the bottom of the Crucifix is 3 1/2 inches long.
Your rosary comes in a white box tied with a gold ribbon. It is ready for you to give as a gift to yourself or to someone special. This comes at no extra charge to you.
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