There's a story here, and I wish I knew what it was. Who made this distinctive and beautiful style of seven sorrows rosaries? When? And why did they stop?
Seven Sorrows rosaries with this cross are fairly rare. The earliest examples have a hand carved wooden center with a cutout in the center for holy earth - but no mark to say where the earth is from. There are no medals; Pater beads divide the decades. The beads are carved from Tagua (coco), or possibly ivory. They are dyed a beautiful rich blue.
The cross is exactly the same on all of the examples I've seen, which means they were made from the same mold or molded from an earlier example. This indicates that they all came from one manufacturer, rather than being part of a tradition.
the cross is brass with a silver wash, mostly worn away. There is a crucified Christ on one side and a prayerful Madonna on the reverse. The Seven Sorrows are depicted in text on each arm of the cross, with this instruction at the top on the reverse side: AT EACH SORROW SAY ONE OUR FATHER SEVEN HAIL MARYS.
This version has the distinctive cross and blue dyed beads, but includes the seven sorrows medals in aluminum. It's likely that this chaplet is more recent than the style that doesn't include medals. The medals are marked with a diamond shaped makers mark, and are thin, indicating they are from the late 19th or early 20th century. These are the same medals shown in 7sorrowsQQ. There is one additional medal attached, a Sorrowful Mother medal from the mid 20th Century. It was on the rosary when found, but is much more recent than the rosary itself.
This example has dark brown wooden beads, with thin aluminum medals. The medals are not by the same artist as the medals in 7sorrowsA, but do match for the medals in 7sorrowsZ. The chain is steel, in the 'doubled back' style. It's hard to say whether the cross is a later addition or original to the chaplet, and there are so many differences that this may not be from the same source as the blue beaded examples above. Or it may be a later, or a less expensive, version.