This is a rare Renaissance/Baroque figural pendant, dating to the 16th - 17th century A.D. The pendant is made from a natural Baroque pearl, utilizing the shape to form a grotesque monster. The jewel is set with gold and ruby eyes, with the back inset in gold and turquoise with a fish design. The surround is gold and set with pitch. It bears a gold suspension ring and is intact. Such a unique item utilizing a natural pearl is a one-off and would have been made by a goldsmith to show his creative skills. Such gems were traded from the New World and were very costly objects. See The Lumpy Pearls That Enchanted the Medicis for further information on early Baroque jewels.
DATE: early 17th century
MATERIAL: Pearl, gold, ruby and turquoise
SIZE: 21.51mm x 10.89mm x 10.19mm x 10.55mm
WEIGHT: 2.97 grams
PROVENANCE: Formerly the property of a private collector. London.
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