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A female saint

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Germany (south, made)

  • Date:

    1450-1500 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved mother of pearl in a silver mount

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr T. Whitcombe Green

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Medieval & Renaissance, Room 62, case 8

The Virgin's posture and a nail hole suggest that this plaque may originally have come from a Crucifixion scene, possibly on a small portable house altar. It was converted into a pendant about a century after it was originally carved, suggesting the continuing demand for images of the Virgin as well as an appreciation of the precious material.

Physical description

Carved mother of pearl relief depicting a female saint in a silver mount. The saint inclines her head to the right, her hands crossed on her breast. Her long flowing robes cover her feet. The relief is broken and drilled at the foot and the surface much worn. The silver mount has two loops. On the back is roughly engraved St. John the Evangelist holding the cup with the serpent, below a heart pierced with three darts.

Place of Origin

Germany (south, made)


1450-1500 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved mother of pearl in a silver mount


Height: 7.6 cm, Width: 2.1 cm, Depth: 0.6 cm

Descriptive line

Carved mother of pearl relief depicting a female saint in a silver mount on the reverse a relief of St John the Evangelist, South Germany, 15th century

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

Cf. Forrer, R. In: Kunstgewerbe in Elsass-Lothringen. V, 1904. P. 101.
Cf. Kataloge des Bayerischen Nationalmuseums. no. 1435.

Production Note

Mount 1560-1580

Subjects depicted

Saints; Cups; Pierced hearts


Christianity; Jewellery; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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