|Prayer nut on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna|
A prayer nut was a small, elaborately carved boxwood orb from the Middle Ages used for private devotion when its owner travelled. Owned mainly by the wealthy in northern Europe, a prayer nut was as much a status symbol as a sign of faith. Such orbs were designed to be worn on a rosary or belt and are therefore known as rosary beads or prayer nuts.
|16th-century Netherlandish prayer nut attributed to Adam Theodrici, |
on display at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam