During The Renaissance Wealthy Europeans Held Onto Their Nuts Very Tightly.
For the wealthy, 16th century Europe was an endless parade of status symbols. The royals and the mega rich enjoyed flaunting their wealth by showcasing their material things. Tapestries, bronze, furniture and exclusively made clothing and footwear were all part of the average luxury lifestyle.
For those that were wealthy and devout Catholics, these "prayer nuts" were another status symbol in high demand. Intricately carved and worn around the neck, these tiny wooden spheres are a merely a few inches in diameter, but include a surprising amount of detail. Women would often wear them around their necks, and men would fasten them to their belts. They were the ultimate showcase of piousness and affluence, and were in high demand from Europe's religious elites.
Today, these prayer nuts are still incredibly valuable. In fact, in 2012, a prayer nut auctioned at Sotheby's in London. The final bid? £133,250, or more than $200,000! Check out the amazing photos below!
Do you recognize any of the scenes in these prayer nuts? To learn more about these unbelievable feats of artistry, check out the Sotheby's website.