Thursday, February 12, 2015

Mastery of Design: The Salamanca Pendant, 1800-1870

Salamanca Spain
The Victoria & Albert Museum

It’s not surprising, given Spain’s highly-Catholic history, that Roman Catholic imagery would be incorporated into all art forms. Many jewels made in Spain from the Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries featured religious themes along with more secular designs.

This cross-shaped pendant is a good example. Made in the Salamanca region of Spain, the pendant is a great representation of the sort of filigree work which made the region famous. While the piece is dominated by the cross, it is suspended from a tulip, and this from a filigree bow—a popular fashion of the early-to-mid Nineteenth Century. Similarly, as was the style of the time, the pendant is made in three sections—each encrusted with seed and baroque pearls attached by thin gold wire. The whole was worn on a ribbon, tied around the throat.

The work of an unknown jeweler, the piece dates between 1800 and 1870.

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