The Stanhope Cross with Lens

9 Apr


Have you ever wondered why your cross has a secret window? The Stanhope Cross was designed around the time of the invention of the photograph in the 1800’s. There is a small lens with a magnifying glass inside this cross through which tiny images of holy places or saints can be seen. Although not designed by him, the Stanhope Cross was named for the Third Earl of Stanhope. It was very popular from 1870 to 1920.

The Stanhope Cross is made of bone or ivory and is intricately carved with scrolls.

To learn more about antique and unusual rosaries, read The Rosary Collector’s Guide by Gloria Brady Hoffner and Helen Hoffner. This 152 page hardcover reference book has 240 color photographs of rosaries, crosses, crucifixes, and center medals.

The Rosary Collector’s Guide authors are often able to bring their collection to show to school groups, church groups, and community organizations. To arrange a presentation or to ask questions about rosaries, contact them at


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