Girdle thumbnail 1
Girdle thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery


ca. 1520-1620 (made)
Place of origin

Silver girdle with medallions showing the Sacred Monogram (IHS) and in Lombardic lettering 'MARIA'.

Object details

Object type
Materials and techniques
Brief description
Silver girdle with medallions. France, probably Paris, about 1520-1620.
Physical description
Silver girdle with medallions showing the Sacred Monogram (IHS) and in Lombardic lettering 'MARIA'.
  • Width: 2cm (Measurement taken from file.)
  • Depth: 0.5cm
  • Length: 90cm
Marks and inscriptions
  • Mark: crowned fleur-de-lys with two grains above a complex symbol
  • mark composed of crown above indistinct letter
Object history
Said to have been excavated at St Albans, Hertfordshire. The girdle was bought for £5 from George Fabian Lawrence (1862-1939), known to workers on London's building sites as 'Stony Jack'. His life is outlined by Hazel Forsyth in The Cheapside Hoard, London's Lost Jewels (Museum of London, 2013, pp. 7-9). It was to Lawrence that the workers went when the Cheapside Hoard was discovered in 1912. In 1937 he said that the worked proved 'apt pupils, and hardly a Saturday passed without someone bringing me something. I got 15,000 objects out of the soil of London in 15 years for the London Museum alone'.

The girdle was described when accessioned in 1899 as bearing the Paris date letter for 1524-5 (?). It appears to bear a goldsmith's mark of characteristic Paris form with crown, fleur-de-lys, and two grains, above a symbol. There is also what appears to be crowned mark with a letter, but there is uncertainty over this letter.
Subject depicted
Accession number

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Record createdSeptember 10, 2004
Record URL
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