Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Soldier's Rosary

At the beginning of "The Lord of the Rings" Tolkien mentions that hobbits' homes tend to get cluttered up with mathoms - a lovely word he took from the Old English, meaning something precious, a treasure. This tendency of the hobbits is one of a goodly number of things about them that reminds me very much of myself. I am much given to the acquiring and collecting of things. Some of my things are very ordinary things. Books, of course. I do not have a bedroom so much as a library in disguise; music as well, and a shocking amount of bric-a-brack acquired, hobbit-like over the years, from friends and family, and of which I am very fond. Some of my things might seem rather odd at first glance: cap badges, for example, or metal soldiers. But I have everything neatly arranged so that I mostly manage to avoid clutter, while still being able to enjoy my possessions.
My most recently acquired mathom is this. It is a soldier's rosary from WWII.

I came across across a picture of one on the Internet about a month or so ago, when I was looking for something else entirely, and was terribly intrigued by it. So I did a bit of research, and discovered that it is hard to find out very much about them at all. They were made during the First and Second World Wars, and are generally referred to as 'standard issue'. They are made of brass pull chain, and while the crucifixes can vary considerably, the overwhelming majority of them have identical center medals, stamped with an image of the Sorrowful Mother on the front, and Our Lord carrying His cross on the back. (Mine has that medal, though you can't really see it in the picture.) Sometimes, they would have been plated in silver, but most were plain, and looked just like this one. I decided that I would dearly like to have one for my very own.
Much to my surprise, I discovered several of them on ebay. To my further surprise, and breathless delight, I actually managed to place a winning bid on one, within the budget I prudently set for myself. It came in the mail a few days later, and I have been saying my daily prayers on it ever since.


Cat said...

A HA!! That's why you wanted my camera, innit?

Mahri said...

'Tis indeed. Do you know that you need new batteries?

Cat said...

I did. I do. I haven't got 'em, yet.