Medieval Rings

les Enluminures
  • ring
  • ring
  • ring
  • ring
  • ring
  • ring

PENDANT WITH THE SANTA FAZ OF JAÉN

Spain (Jaén), late 16th century

Tortoiseshell, gold, enamel, crystal, paint on paper

  • 17.000 €
  • £15,100
  • $20,000
  • PENDANT WITH THE SANTA FAZ OF JAÉN

    Spain (Jaén), late 16th century
    Tortoiseshell, gold, enamel, crystal, paint on paper
    Weight 23.4 grams; dimensions 66 × 50 × 3 mm

    Description
    Pendant with miniature painting of the Santa Faz (Holy Face) of Jaén, Spain. The face of Christ is dark and almost silhouette-like, with open eyes and triangular beard. The convex tortoiseshell frame, inset with a beveled-edge crystal, has gold rosettes in black and white enamel with translucent red globules on the corners. The tortoiseshell is plain on the reverse side and surmounted with a carved pendant loop.

    Comparisons and Literature
    The Santa Faz of Jaén is a popular motif in jewelry and was worn as a souvenir by pilgrims in Spain. These often show Christ’s face as a black silhouette against a gold background (see no. 26, painted in verre églomisé). An example in the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas, Madrid, with a bronze frame (inv. no. CE06594) is comparable but slightly later in date. Here, the miniature painting more closely resembles the original relic venerated in the Cathedral of Jaén.

    Reference number: 0761

  • Renaissance & Baroque

    Considerable evidence exists concerning the making and wearing of rings in the Renaissance. Their appearance in painted portraits confirms that they continued to be worn on multiple fingers, suspended from chains and ribbons, sewn onto sleeves or hats, and so forth. When not worn they were sometimes stored on parchment rolls or in neatly compartmentalized boxes, known from documents and paintings. In the Renaissance, the medieval practice of using uncut stones was abandoned in favor of faceting; table-cut facets were among the earliest and most popular, but other cuts rapidly followed. Making rings that would show off best the qualities of the stone became a skill that exercised the virtuosity of cutters, chasers, engravers, enamellers, and goldsmiths sometimes in collaboration. The highly sculpturesque quality of most Renaissance and Baroque rings can be compared with the striving for greater veracity that characterizes the monumental arts of this period.

    By far the most common type of ring from the Renaissance was the boxed bezel set with faceted stones in highly ornate geometric bezels with intricate articulated shoulders, sometimes with protruding volutes, the whole richly enameled. Surviving drawings for rings by sixteenth-century goldsmith-designers Etienne Delaune, Pierre Woeiriot, and René Boyvin record variations on this type. Often reviving classical subjects and motifs, numerous cameos and intaglios also date from this era, produced under illustrious, often princely, patronage. By the sixteenth century the careers of famous gem-cutters can be reconstructed; they include Valerio Belli, Alessandro Cesati, Alessandro Masnago, and Francesco Torino. However, few Renaissance cameos and intaglios appear in their original mounts, because they were often made not as rings but rather as virtuoso carvings, kept in drawers in cabinets and taken out and admired by Renaissance princes.

    During Elizabethan and Tudor times in England, commonplace books (the earliest dated 1596) were used by goldsmiths and their customers to provide appropriate inscriptions for rings. References to posy rings (from “poésie” or poetry) abound in literature of the period; for example, in Shakespeare's Hamlet (III, ii, 162): “Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring.” The discovery of the New World also wrought changes in the evolution of rings, as it did for painting, because new stones became available. The newly prized diamond, expensive then as now, was often imitated by the similarly favored rock crystal. Extensive surviving pictorial evidence is useful because it contributes to a more precise dating and localization of rings from this era.

     

  • ring
  • ring
  • ring
ring

PENDANT WITH THE SANTA FAZ OF JAÉN

Spain (Jaén), late 16th century
Tortoiseshell, gold, enamel, crystal, paint on paper
Weight 23.4 grams; dimensions 66 × 50 × 3 mm

USD $20,000

Description
Pendant with miniature painting of the Santa Faz (Holy Face) of Jaén, Spain. The face of Christ is dark and almost silhouette-like, with open eyes and triangular beard. The convex tortoiseshell frame, inset with a beveled-edge crystal, has gold rosettes in black and white enamel with translucent red globules on the corners. The tortoiseshell is plain on the reverse side and surmounted with a carved pendant loop.

Comparisons and Literature
The Santa Faz of Jaén is a popular motif in jewelry and was worn as a souvenir by pilgrims in Spain. These often show Christ’s face as a black silhouette against a gold background (see no. 26, painted in verre églomisé). An example in the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas, Madrid, with a bronze frame (inv. no. CE06594) is comparable but slightly later in date. Here, the miniature painting more closely resembles the original relic venerated in the Cathedral of Jaén.

Reference number: 0761

You might also like

  • AMULET PENDANT WITH FIGA

    Spain, c. 1620–1630

  • HORSE RATTLE PENDANT

    Spain or Italy, 18th century

  • POMANDER IN THE FORM OF A BOOK

    Southern Germany, c. 1620–1650

  • RELIQUARY PENDANT WITH ST. CATHERINE

    Capsule: Transylvania; medallion: Germany, c. 1475–1500

  • PENDANT WITH THE ANNUNCIATION MINIATURES BY VALERIO MARUCELLI (1563–1626)

    Italy, c. 1620

  • BADGE WITH ST. JAMES THE GREAT

    Northern Spain, 16th century

  • PENDANT WITH VIRGIN OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

    Spain (Andalucia or Estremadura), c. 1630

  • ROSARY BEAD WITH WENDEKOPF

    Germany, 16th century

  • DEVOTIONAL PENDANT

    Spain (Jaén), 17th century

  • PENDANT WITH AGNUS DEI

    Italy (probably Lombardy), 15th century

  • TRIPTYCH PENDANT WITH VIRGIN AND CHILD (MARIA LACTANS)

    Italy, 17th century

  • RELIQUARY PENDANT WITH PEARL

    Spain or Spanish Netherlands, c. 1620

  • MEMENTO MORI SKULL PENDANT

    Germany, 17th century

  • ROCK CRYSTAL PENDANT WITH COLUMN

    France or Italy, 16th century

  • RELIQUARY PENDANT IN BOOK FORM

    Southern Germany, probably Augsburg, c. 1550

  • RELIQUARY PENDANT IN BOOK FORM

    Probably southern Germany, 1630–40

  • RELIQUARY PENDANT IN BOOK FORM

    Probably southern Germany, late 16th-early 17th century

  • DIPTYCH PENDANT WITH VIRGIN AND CHILD AND CRUCIFIXION SCENE

    Probably Germany (Lower Rhine?), late 14th century

  • HEART PENDANT

    Spain or Italy, c. 1600

  • RELIQUARY PENDANT WITH CHRIST ON THE CROSS

    Germany, c. 1480–1500

  • RENAISSANCE PECTORAL CROSS PENDANT

    Western Europe, probably southern Germany, c. 1600

  • RELIQUARY CROSS PENDANT

    Spain, early 17th century

  • RELIQUARY CROSS PENDANT

    Balkans (probably Bulgaria), 18th-19th century

  • TWO COLLARS FOR AN ABBESS

    Spain, 17th century