Friday, 1 December 2017

Can anyone identify this object?

You might say that our post this week is a little bit out of the ordinary.

This week, instead of featuring something from our own Archives, we are excited to feature an item from the Archives of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

And the object itself is an unusual one.

Part of the CCCB Archives, Provenance and date unknown.

It is made of wood, possibly maple, and is 36.5 cm high. At its widest point, it is about 25 cm wide.

The metal lettering reads “Veillez et priez” (it is missing the “t” in et). These are the instructions given to the apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane in Matthew 26:41:“Stay awake and pray.”

Close up of the painting . The bottom of the metal frame around the image has broken off.
The text beneath the image reads “Mon Ch. Letaille et Fils. Edit Pontifx sucr Paris, Pl 827".

Part of the CCCB Archives, Provenance and date unknown.

The painting shows Jesus and a sleeping apostle in the Garden of Gethsemane. The caption reads “Celui qui doit me trahir approche. Et tu dors.” Literally, “He who is to betray me is approaching, and you are asleep.”

A demonstration of how individual balls are manually dropped into the instrument, facilitating wakefulness and mindfulness in prayer.

Part of the CCCB Archives, Provenance and date unknown.
It includes 8 balls, approximately 2 cm in diameter. They have numbers and letters and in fact appear to be bingo tokens. One drops the ball in at the top and it comes out at the bottom. The thought that they may have replaced a lost set of 10 black balls and 1 white one, suggests that it may be an instrument for praying the rosary, one that forces the praying person to keep awake by the physical movement of taking a ball from the bottom and putting it in the hole at the top.

Special thanks to CCCB Archivist Bruce Henry, who piqued our interest and allowed us to post his photographs and description.

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