Tudor Silver-gilt Heart-shaped Pendant
This is a fabulous Tudor period silver-gilt heart-shaped pendant, dating to the 16th century. The pendant is of a class of object discussed BERK-5A089D & NMGW-221F3A, with the scalloped border being known aspect of this type of jewel.
The will of Sir Mathew Cradock of Swansea dated 22 January 1529, includes a list of the jewels his wife Lady Katherine had brought with her when they married, including 'a hert of golde', and 'a nother hart of golde wt a floure delyce of diamontes in hym and a peerle hanging by hym which was a noche (brooch) of our Ladye'.
On this example, the field is decorated with stars, without any obvious religious symbolism. It is likely this piece was given as a love gift. The heart was readily adopted from the fourteenth century as a symbol of passion, courage, and devotion. Heart-shaped lockets of slightly later date commemorating Charles I, without the characteristic indented backplate are well known - this example is much earlier.
It is a wonderful pendant with a bright and luminous mercurial gold gilding, an ideal historic piece to be worn again today.
OBJECT: Amatory Pendant
DATE: 1500 - 1600 A.D.
SIZE: 44mm x 33mm x 11mm
WEIGHT: 10.93 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. Private Collection, Reading.