This is a superb Spanish Renaissance gold and rock crystal reliquary pendant. It is formed from a piece of clear and excellent quality rock crystal, sliced into two sections. Each section contains seven ground and polished receptacles, each to contain a relic. In total this vessel would have been suited to hold 14 separate relics. Each backed by a piece of colored cloth, alternating in red and blue.
The rock crystal has been closed and secured with a gold and enameled bevel, decorated with dot and dash work (typical of mid 16th-century goldsmiths art). This is matched to the same workshop of a citrine cameo of king Philip II of Spain, recently acquired by the Cleveland Museum of Art (see here).
The reliquary is in good antique condition, one half of the crystal has an old repair. It is also missing much of the black enamel on the bevel.
OBJECT: Reliquary Pendant
CULTURE: Spanish Renaissance
DATE: 16th century (c. 1550 - 1580 A.D.)
MATERIAL: Gold & Rock Crystal
SIZE: 52mm x 33mm x 21mm
WEIGHT: 43.16 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. European Private Collection
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