This is a magnificent gold and enamel jewel, dating to the 17th century. The sumptuous frame of gold, enamel, and pearls encloses a devotional image of the Santa Faz (or Holy Face of Jesus). The painted image set behind a domed rock crystal cover, that magnifies the image but also makes it difficult to photograph adequately. The veneration of the Holy Face of Jesus has been a popular subject in medieval and Renaissance art from the 15th century, documented from the Veil of Veronica (Secrets of the miraculous Veil of Veronica).
Hear my voice, LORD, when I call; have mercy on me and answer me.
“Come,” says my heart, “seek God’s Face”, your Face, LORD, do I seek!
Do not hide your Face from me… (Psalm 26: 7-9)
This pendant is an excellent example of a jewel of veneration, worn on special feast days and celebrations. Sadly it appears to have been dropped with loss of enamel to the rear. All the pearls appear to be original and genuine, each drilled and mounted on gold pins. The crystal is intact and original. Overall it is in superb condition for its age, I have dated it to the 17th century but could be a little earlier (certainly no later).
OBJECT: Devotional Jewel Pendant
CULTURE: Spanish Baroque
DATE: c. 17th century
MATERIAL: Solid Gold (18k) enamel and crystal
SIZE: 42.51mm x 37.56mm x 9.95mm
WEIGHT: 24.16 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. European Private Collection, Valencia. Spain.
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