Ancient Jewellery

Tel: 07779943777
Web site:

Renaissance Gold Filigree Silver-gilt Girdle Prayer Book Case


Code: 10785

This is a masterpiece of Renaissance silversmith art, an exquisitely crafted book-shaped filigree case. The workmanship is breathtaking in its detail and imagination. Every part of the case has been decorated, designed to hang on a girdle and to be seen. The filigree decoration is in solid gold wire, laid onto silver which has oxidized black. Such a case would have been used to hold valuable spices, gems or relics. Slightly larger examples in gold and enamel were used to house prayer books, this was seen as a highly sophisticated and fashionable accessory for a Tudor period noblewoman to wear. In this case even the pages of the book are engraved for effect on the sides, with a pair of hands securing the lid. It is intact with some wear to the gilding, commensurate with age. An interesting and very collectible piece of jewellers art.

OBJECT: Girdle Book Case

CULTURE: Renaissance

DATE: c. 16th - 17th century

MATERIAL: Silver-gilt & gold

SIZE:  51mm x 43mm x 15mm

WEIGHT:  52.5 grams

PROVENANCE: Formerly the property of an Edinburgh gentleman