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Carved bone bead showing a woman wearing a crown-like hat. This bead has a carved face of a woman on one side and a skull on the other. Known as a 'memento mori' this bead was meant to encourage thoughts about life, death and the soul. Probably once part of a rosary, this large 'Paternoster' bead was used to indicate when the Lord's Prayer was to be said. Rosaries were used in repetitive prayers of penance and devotion. They were made illegal in 1549, after the Reformation, although many Londoners continued to use them in private.
© Museum of London