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  • Object:

    Bead, possibly a rosary bead

  • Place of origin:

    Spain (made)

  • Date:

    1580-1630 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved jet

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Lt. Col. G. B. Croft-Lyons FSA

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery, case 2, shelf 2

Mother-of-pearl, jet coral and amber were selected by craftsmen for their beauty, durability and rarity. These materials often occurred in a particular geographical region. Coral for example was prevalent in Sicily and amber along the Baltic coast. Many of the religious items were portable, as were the small portraits. They were often made locally and then taken elsewhere. Pilgrims from all over Europe bought the jet images made in Santiago de Compostela.

Physical description

Carved jet skull possibly a rosary bead. The skull is broadly carved and a wing (or possibly an elongated shell) is shown at each side.

Place of Origin

Spain (made)


1580-1630 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved jet


Height: 3.1 cm, Width: 3.3 cm

Descriptive line

Carved jet skull, possibly a rosary bead, Spain, ca. 1580-1630

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Trusted, Marjorie. Spanish Sculpture : Catalogue of the Post-Medieval Spanish Sculpture in Wood, Terracotta, Alabaster, Marble, Stone, Lead and Jet in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1996. p. 154. cat. no. 85.

Subjects depicted

Skull (skeleton component)


Sculpture; Christianity; Death


Sculpture Collection

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