Thrill of the Hunt #24

March 29, 2016

thrill of the hunt #24 charm bracelet diva {at home}

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.

Vintage Infant of Prague chalk statue

Vintage Infant of Prague chalk statue

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.

Vintage Infant of Prague chalk statue

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!

Vintage Infant of Prague chalk statue

Vintage Infant of Prague chalk statue

Vintage Infant of Prague chalk statue

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. 

vintage oversized rosary wall art

That leads me to my next vintage find -- an oversized, handmade wooden rosary. I actually picked it 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.  

vintage oversized rosary wall art

You can also see some of my other religious statues, chalk and otherwise, included in these pictures.

vintage oversized rosary wall art

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.

vintage oversized rosary wall art

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.

Mrs. Rachel Rust signed vintage handmade oversized wooden rosary

Now here's the most interesting part. I found these words stamped on the back of the cross:  

Mrs. Rachel Rust
Box 322
Carroll, Iowa

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.

Target gold and white jewelry tray soap dish

This is a brand new jewelry tray/soap dish that still had the tag on it. I got it for 99 cents. I was really happy to find it because 1. it's pretty and matches my Hello Lovely jewelry box and 2. I can use it to display my vintage goodies! The smudges on the gold part are what's left after I took off one of the price tags. Goo Gone to the rescue! 

vintage jewelry finds

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!

vintage jewelry finds

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.

vintage sapphire and rhinestone necklace

vintage sapphire and rhinestone necklace

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! 

Well, that's it for today, friends!  
I hope you enjoyed reading 
Thrill of the Hunt #24
and that I've inspired you in some way. 

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Leave a Comment!

Rita C at Panoply said...

Kathleen, I love your Infant of Prague chalk statue. We used to have several of these around our home, growing up, also. I scored a nice little IofP at an auction, and find myself rescuing these religious relics at sales. Can you believe I actually had one, made of wood, STOLEN from the antique mall booth space?! Blew my mind. Great little collection you have going there.

Bonnie Schulte said...

When I was 10 years old,65 years ago, I remember this statue, or one very similar, was on the dresser in my Grandparents bedroom, with the statue of the Blessed Virgin. Both intrigued me so. When I was 15, My step dad gave me a large wooden beaded rosary, that he had kept, which he had brought back from Germany, after WW2. Don't remember what ever became of that rosary, but I sure do wish I still had it. What memories your blog brings back, and what a wonderful treasure you found.

Sharon @ Blue Willow House said...

Your chalk statues are beautiful. I love religious artifacts. You also scored with the $5 stuff a bag. You found some lovely pieces that I know you will put to good use. sb

My thrift store addiction said...

I always love vintage baubles but the statue is really special! It reminds me of something special I saw during my visit with my Mom. Hugs, Cecilia

Tuula @ Thrifty Rebel Vintage said...

You found some lovely pieces Kathleen. Love the vintage jewelry bits, and that statue is pretty fabulous too!

Diana said...

That rosary is really something; I think it's going to make a great piece to decorate with, painted or otherwise. I love the jewelry choices you made--they'll look great as part of your upcycled jewelry creations :)

Queen Of Rods said...

I really enjoyed seeing your vintage finds. I also collect religious art. The rosary is awesome, I've never seen anything like it. Thank you for sharing these fabulous pieces :)

Lina Fletcher said...

Hi there. My daughter found the exact wall rosary at a flea market this morning with Mrs. Rust's name and address on it. I searched her name a d town and found your blog. I pray for Mrs. Rust and her family!

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