Ancient Jewellery

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Renaissance gold and enamel jewel of Sol Invictus the unconquered Sun


Code: 11295

This is an unusual Renaissance gold figural jewel in what appears to represent Sol Invictus front facing in a biga chariot. This design is found on the reverse of a Roman coin of Probus (see here and the photo below). It is possible the design was utilized as a representation of Jesus (Second Coming) with hand raised in blessing? The two horses would have been enameled in white, against a green ground line. The enamel is in a technique know as 'en ronde bosse' which would have covered with horses' heads and rendered them more realistic. The jewel are rubies, set in collets and rubbed. Below dangles five drops in the shape of flowers but may also be wheels. The back retains a suspension loop and has a later gold hanger. The jewel is certainly very old and shares similarities with Roman as well as Renaissance workmanship. The enamel technique is more medieval so I would tend to date it slightly later. Rare and interesting!

OBJECT: Jewelled pendant 

CULTURE:  Renaissance

DATE: c. 1450 - 1650 A.D.

MATERIAL: Gold, Ruby & Enamel

SIZE: 39.56mm x 22.61mm x 3.70mm

WEIGHT:  6.93 grams

PROVENANCE:  Formerly in a private collection in London.