Ancient Jewellery

Tel: 07779943777
Web site:

Renaissance Tudor period gold, pearl and ruby hat jewel


Code: 11396

This is an excavated Tudor period gold, ruby, and natural pearl hat jewel, dating to the 1580s-1620s. The jewel is set with the original pink table cut ruby in a high quatrefoil collet with scalloped sides (similar too that found on a ring NMS-0D2960 recorded from Kenninghall). The main design is formed as a cruciform around the ruby, each arm set with a cluster of two natural freshwater pearls, each drilled and secured with a peened end. The pearls have a fabulous patina encrusted around the iridescence formed over hundreds of years of burial. Some of the patina has flaked away revealing the enclosed pearl. Each arm is formed as a sweeping crescent, one shorter than the other, one set with black enamel - the other side is missing. On the back, the jewel is secured with a screw thread (early hand cut in gold) that would have passed through the hat or silk brocade, the nut would have been tightened the prevent loss. This is a very rare object, especially in this original condition with all the surviving and original pearls. It would certainly have belonged to a nobleman or lady of high standing around the time of Queen Elizabeth I and King Philip II of Spain. A wonderful jewel and a real piece of history!

OBJECT: Hat Jewel

CULTURE: Tudor - Stuart

DATE: c. 1580 - 1620 A.D.

MATERIAL: Gold, ruby and pearls

SIZE: 27.77mm x 20.98mm x 10.19mm 

WEIGHT: 3.45 grams

PROVENANCE:  From a European private collection, Netherlands.