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   xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Nov 22 11:43 PM

November 23rd, 2015: Prayer Nuts

I can almost hear the smartass remarks from you heathen heretics out there, but no, Prayer Nuts are not people.

Quote:
A prayer nut was an extravagant, intricately carved boxwood carving from the Middle Ages that could be carried and used for private devotion. Owned mainly by the wealthy in northern Europe, a prayer nut was as much a status symbol as a sign of faith, as only those with money could afford them.


Quote:
The decorative items are small, measuring only a few inches in diameter. When closed, the object resembles an elaborately carved nut that could be worn on a belt or a rosary. Once opened, the interior reveals incredibly detailed, religious scenes like the Crucifixion. Aromatic fragrances were often inserted into the woodwork with the intention of enhancing the emotional experience for the user. Delicate and complex, prayer nuts were highly prized as works of art and can be found on display in many of the world's leading museums today.
This level off intricate carving boggles my mind, especially in wood which isn't very strong in spindly pieces. Boxwood was an obvious choice for European carvers in the Middle Ages, because of local availability. Boxwood wood is hard, heavy, strong and if you choose the right piece the grain is straight, tight, and uniform in color. Not to be confused with dwarf Boxwood used for stinky hedges. The pictures at mymodernmet show some nuts have half a dozen fold out layers. no wonder they were costly.


sexobon  Monday Nov 23 12:36 AM

There should be a prayer nut apropos bald squirrels.



DanaC  Monday Nov 23 03:43 AM

I love that they included scents. Medieval smell-o-vision.

Thanks for posting bruce, they are teh awsum.



glatt  Monday Nov 23 08:27 AM

If you make a mistake on a computer you just type ctrl-z and it's all OK again. You make a mistake carving one of these and you probably have to start over from the beginning. And even a skilled carver is going to spend an incredible amount of time making one of these. It boggles the mind is correct.



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