Welcome back to Thrill of the Hunt! It's been more than a few weeks since my last post about thrifty vintage treasures so I thought it was high time I shared again. I'm starting out with a special religious statue that I picked up in the quaint town of Galena, IL this past New Year's.
Isn't it grand? It's what's called a chalk statue. Despite the fact that they look a bit chalk-like, chalk statues are not made of chalk. They're made from plaster-of-Paris. Most are painted with watercolors. They most likely originated in Italy as a form of religious and devotional art. It is said the craft then spread to Germany and the rest is history.
I find these statues at flea markets and sometimes in my local Goodwill, however prices can vary widely. The larger the statue the higher the price. I've come across some large Madonna chalk statues but they've all been too expensive for my budget. My dream is to stumble across a large religious chalk statue that does not cost an arm and a leg.
Just look at that patina! Although I happen to be Catholic (and so I probably have more interest than the average bear in these statues, I actually remember having them around the house while growing up), you certainly don't have to be religious to be interested in them. All types of people collect them and value them as art. And oh! the chippy-shabby-ness of it all!
This particular statue is the Infant of Prague. You could say that I've started somewhat of a small collection of this icon in different shapes and styles. In addition to the chalk statues, some are porcelain and some are even plastic.
That leads me to my next vintage find, an oversized, handmade wooden rosary.
I actually picked this up at a Goodwill a few years ago and could not decided what to do with it. I tried selling it at the craft show I participated in but was unsuccessful so I brought it home with me. It's been in a box ever since.
You can also see some of my other religious statues, chalk and otherwise, included in these pictures.
Years ago I saw one of these rosaries painted white and used as wall art. I've always had that in the back of my mind for this one. It really could be used for wall art ~ it's 30" long when draped. It's even longer if I separate it from the cross on which it's hanging. The beads are 7/8" in diameter. Rosaries like these were originally used as belts worn over the gowns of various religious, brothers and sisters included.
You can see that I love Madonna chalk statues as well. I also have another Infant of Prague statue that didn't make it into the picture.
Now here's the most interesting part. I found these words stamped on the back of the cross:
Mrs. Rachel Rust
At first I thought that's who it belonged to. Come to find that that's the name of the woman who made it. I live in the Chicago area so I guess it's not too unusual that this cross ended up at my local Goodwill. And when I googled it I found out that a few of the same rosaries have sold on eBay and Etsy. I'm still torn about painting it but I think that's the way I'm leaning. After painting it I think I'll use it as part of my master bedroom Spring refresh.
I picked up these vintage jewelry pieces at an antique store in Grand Haven, MI this past fall. I think it cost $5.00 for everything you could fit into a small zip-lock bag. Let me tell you I really tried to cram it in!
The price was a bit steep compared to what I'm used to paying but I felt pretty good about it since I knew I would use each and every piece of it in my one-of-a-kind vintage jewelry creations.
On that same trip, I bought this necklace at an antique mall in Grand Haven. I'm not normally drawn to blue but I just had to have it! I think it lost its original chain and someone added a new one to it, but that's okay because I'll be putting it to another use anyway. And the rhinestones! Oh, the rhinestones!
That wraps it up for this version of Thrill of the Hunt #24. Hopefully my next reveal won't be so long in the making as this one was! Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to stop by this Thursday, March 31st, for our Vintage Charm party!
Can't wait to see you there!
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