This is an exceptionally rare find, recently acquired from a private collection. It is an unusual Renaissance (Tudor period) gold pendant, set with a citrine gemstone and pearls. The gemstone is mounted within a silver collet. Each pearl is pierced and riveted into position. This technique of mounting pearls has been found on 15th and 16th-century goldsmiths work in the British Museum.
The pendant likely once held two hanging pearls, the loops used also to secure the jewel to a lace or silk headband, worn as a 'Ferronière'. This type of jewel can be found worn on the forehead of noble Italian ladies during the late 15th - 16th century. See 'La belle ferronnière' by Leonardo da Vinci. Another almost identical jewel is associated with Lucrezia Borgia, depicted on a portrait of her by Bartolomeo Veneto (painted in 1502). I have included this portrait above, alongside a screenshot of the Netflix Borgia series of Lucrezia (wearing the same type of ferronnière).
The condition is excellent, one pearl may be a later replacement, the citrine has a light chip but is otherwise intact.
OBJECT: Ferronière Pendant
CULTURE: Renaissance / Tudor period
DATE: c. 16th century A.D.
MATERIAL: Gold, Silver, Citrine, and Pearls
SIZE: 28mm x 29mm x 3mm
WEIGHT: 4.6 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. Collection of a Mayfair Gentleman
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