Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Pendent Jewel: Prudence

From The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, 1983.

Click to enlarge.
51 Pendent Jewel: Prudence
Probably French, Paris, mid-16th c. Gold, chalcedony, enamel, emeralds, rubies, a diamond, and a pendent pearl; 31/2 x 2 in. (8.9 x 5 cm)

The mirror and snake identify the subject of this jewel as Prudence, one of the Seven Virtues. Her image — white chalcedony carved in relief, combined with raised and tooled gold — is attached to a ground of enameled gold. The technique, a rare one, is a variety of commesso. In medium and style this Prudence is characteristic of a group of jewels traced to the court of the French king Henri II (r. 1547-59). Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917, 17.190.907

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