Life and training of embroiderers, £8.99
Length: 40.500 cm
Height: 1.200 cm (octagonal plaques)
Gift of Professor and Mrs John Hull Grundy
M&ME HG cat. 285
Room 46: Europe 1400-1800
Gold necklace with painted enamel scenes
France (?), mid-17th century AD
Possibly made in the Toutin workshops
The necklace was probably made by an enameller associated with the Toutin workshops, but the faceted spacer beads and linking elements probably date to the early nineteenth century.
The Toutin family operated enamelling workshops in Blois and Paris around 1630-83. A number of enamel-painters specializing in landscapes and in flower painting are known from documentary records, but few signed or documented pieces survive.
(1578-1644) is generally credited with the development in the early
seventeenth century of a technique of enamel painting, whereby
powdered enamel is mixed with oil and painted onto an already fired
enamelled ground. The use of grisaille, or shaded monochrome tones,
usually on a white ground, produces the effect of a drawing or
engraving. These delicate and skilfully painted miniatures and
figures are probably based on paintings or prints, and are truly
remarkable for their small scale. The allegorical and mythological
standing figures represent: Hope, Temperance, Prudence, Geometry,
Mercury, Justice, Faith,
Painted enamels are associated with northern European courtly life, and were used for portrait miniatures and to decorate such small objects as medallions, watch cases and boxes. Other centres for the production of miniature painted enamels during this period were Geneva, Berlin and Augsburg.
H. Tait and C. Gere, The jewellers art: an introduc (London, The British Museum Press, 1978)
C. Gere and others, The art of the jeweller: a cat, 2 vols. (, 1984)