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Details & Cataloguing

Old Master Sculpture & Works of Art

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Spanish, circa 1630
PENDANT
partially enamelled gold and rock crystal
78 by 75mm., 3 1/8  by 3in. 
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Catalogue Note

This beautifully preserved 17th-century Spanish Pendant Cross finds a technical and decorative parallel in the Victoria and Albert Museum's Pendant Cross from the treasury of the Cathedral of the Virgin of the Pillar, Zaragoza (inv. no. 345-1870). The V&A pendant is likewise set with clear crystals to the obverse, with arabesques enlivened with red, green and white cloisonné enamelling to the reverse. It takes a different form, being a cross within a crowned garter, but the similarities to the present jewel are confirmed to the reverse. Here again, we see the same dominant white ground with red, white, green and blue cloisonné enamelled vegetal motifs. 

A jewel of similar design to the obverse of the present pendant is seen in a donor double portrait with San Jacobo de la Marca in the Museo Cerralbo, Madrid, published in La joya espanola (op. cit., p. 137). The present jewel finds comparisons in a Pendant Cross, believed to be Spanish, circa 1630, in the Archaeological Museum, Madrid (inv. no. 52.380), and another, centred upon a red garnet to the reverse, from the Rütschi collection, Zurich (published in Joyaux Renaissanceop. cit., no. 58; again catalogued as Spanish circa 1630). Finally, a strong comparison is found in the Spanish, circa 1625-1630, diamond set Pendant Cross of Jerusalem from the collection of Henry Thomas Hope (1808-1862) which was sold in these rooms on 5 July 2017, lot 1 for £112,500 (aggregate; estimate: £50,000-70,000).

RELATED LITERATURE
La Joyeria Espanola de Felipe II a Alfonso XIII en Los Estatales, Madrid, 1998, pp. 137-138, no. 85; J. Kugel, Joyaux Renaissance, exh. cat., Kugel, Paris 2000, no. 58; P. Muller, Jewels in Spain 1500-1800, New York, 2012, p. 130, illustrated fig. 218

Old Master Sculpture & Works of Art

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London