Gold pendant set with emeralds and diamonds
Spain, around AD 1650
The back of the pendant is enamelled with a design of flowers. The lower section incorporates an 'S' pierced by a nail, referring to a Spanish religious confraternity (brotherhood).
Jewelled pendants were extremely fashionable in Spain during the second half of the seventeenth century, worn by the wealthy and those in court circles. The desire for personal ostentation and extravagant display was easily met by the influx of gold, diamonds and other gem stones from Spain's colonies in the New World. Motifs previously made in fabric for the enrichment of dress, such as ribbons, bows and butterflies, were transformed into glittering gold and gem ornaments, the bow-knot, or lazo, being especially popular. Pendants could be worn hanging from a gold or pearl chain, or pinned to the bodice.
religious confraternities also wore these pendants, or
veneras, with additional
symbolic decoration to demonstrate their allegiance and faith.
Here, the 'S', or 's-clavo'
(clavo meaning nail,
'slave') refers to the description of the members
of such different confraternities as the 'Esclavos del
Santísimo Sacramento' and the 'Esclavos de Nuestra
Señora'. The cult of the Immaculate Conception of the
Virgin reached its peak in Spain during the first half of the
seventeenth century, and
veneras were produced in
great numbers with the crowned MARIA
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)
P.E. Muller, Jewels in Spain, 1500-1800 (New York, The Hispanic Society of America, 1972)
Length: 9.300 cm
Length: 9.300 cm
M&ME Hull Grundy Catalogue 280
Gift of Professor and Mrs John Hull Grundy