RELIQUARY PENDANT WITH PEARL
Spain or Spanish Netherlands, c. 1620
Gold, rock crystal, enamel, pearl, bone relics
Weight 12.9 grams; dimensions 40 × 17 mm
Gold three-sided pendant in rounded form with stylized acanthus scrolls and foliage in gold against black enamel. Each side has an oval opening with a convex crystal cover in an opaque blue enamel and gold frame, under which lies a bone relic (one is missing). On top and bottom is a foliate ornament with opaque white enamel and a peapod ornament with alternating opaque turquoise and dark blue enamel, imitating and lapis lazuli stones. Attached to these is the enameled pendant loop and suspended pearl pendant. Comparisons and Literature The pendant has a unique design. The goldsmith may have known the ornamental prints of Michel Le Blon (1587-1658), active in Amsterdam, London, and Antwerp; see examples in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (RP-P-1912-381 and 383) and the British Museum, London (inv. no Gg,4K.20). The peapod ornament and the combination of enamel colors suggest a date around 1620.