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Don’t miss the wonder!

January 17th, 2017

South Netherlandish Rosary, 1509 – 1526. Boxwood. Overall (length, diameter): 472 × 57mm (47.2 × 5.7 cm) Overall (diameter of ave bead): 38mm (3.8 cm). Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth. Reproduced by permission of Chatsworth Settlement Trustees. Photo: Craig Boyko/Ian Lefebvre © Art Gallery of Ontario, 2017

It’s your last chance to discover the mysteries inside the miniatures…Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures closes on January 22!

Run, don’t walk, to check out the Chatsworth Rosary, King Henry VIII’s famed wedding gift. The elusive object (it’s here in North America for the first time) is featured in the current AGO exhibition, Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures, but it’s leaving Toronto on January 22! Don’t miss your last chance to marvel at the rosary, along with other magnificent objects in this extraordinary collection of medieval miniatures that retain so much of their magic and mystery, despite extensive modern research and study.

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, the AGO now has a better understanding about how these amazing works of art were created: beads were carved out of a single piece of boxwood, but in individual parts, held together by tiny boxwood pins.

We asked master woodworker and Toronto-based professor Mark Paddison to carve a replica of a miniature gothic prayer bead. See the video below on the many challenges Mark faced in his efforts to recreate objects that he says are “so technical but magical at the same time.”

When you visit the exhibition, you can pick up and examine Paddison’s replicas with your own two hands!

Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures is included in general admission and ends on Jan. 22. AGO members see it for free.

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