This is an excavated Tudor period gold, ruby, and natural pearl hat jewel, dating to the 1580s-1620s. The jewel is set with the original pink table cut ruby in a high quatrefoil collet with scalloped sides (similar too that found on a ring NMS-0D2960 recorded from Kenninghall). The main design is formed as a cruciform around the ruby, each arm set with a cluster of two natural freshwater pearls, each drilled and secured with a peened end. The pearls have a fabulous patina encrusted around the iridescence formed over hundreds of years of burial. Some of the patina has flaked away revealing the enclosed pearl. Each arm is formed as a sweeping crescent, one shorter than the other, one set with black enamel - the other side is missing. On the back, the jewel is secured with a screw thread (early hand cut in gold) that would have passed through the hat or silk brocade, the nut would have been tightened the prevent loss. This is a very rare object, especially in this original condition with all the surviving and original pearls. It would certainly have belonged to a nobleman or lady of high standing around the time of Queen Elizabeth I and King Philip II of Spain. A wonderful jewel and a real piece of history!
OBJECT: Hat Jewel
CULTURE: Tudor - Stuart
DATE: c. 1580 - 1620 A.D.
MATERIAL: Gold, ruby and pearls
SIZE: 27.77mm x 20.98mm x 10.19mm
WEIGHT: 3.45 grams
PROVENANCE: From a European private collection, Netherlands.
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