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Dress ornament

Dress ornament

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (Southern, made)

  • Date:

    1610-1620 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cast and enamelled gold

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Medieval & Renaissance, Room 62, The Foyle Foundation Gallery, case 8

Dress ornaments were small items of adornment, for the wealtheir clients usually made of gold, silver or silver gilt and often elaborately decorated. They were sewn onto garments for decorative effect rather than for any functional purpose. They were often made in matching sets of differing sizes so that they could be strategically placed across the sleeves, bodice, or jacket, and were worn by both men and women.

Physical description

Gold openwork ornament with a cast female figure at the centre holding two goblets and therefore identified as Temperance. Enamelled in white, blue, green and black.

Place of Origin

Germany (Southern, made)


1610-1620 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Cast and enamelled gold


Height: 2.8 cm, Width: 2.8 cm, Depth: 0.5 cm

Historical context note

This jewel was probably a dress ornament originally sewn onto the fabric of the dress.
The female figure at the centre is identified as Temperance because of her attribute, two goblets of water. She therefore may have been part of a set of ornaments depicting the cardinal Virtues (Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance), which were often paired with the theological Virtues (Faith, Hope and Charity).

Descriptive line

Enamelled gold openwork ornament with a cast female figure at the centre, Southern Germany, 1610-1620

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

Bury, Shirley, Jewellery Gallery Summary Catalogue (Victoria and Albert Museum, 1982), Case 13, Board F, no.10

Labels and date

Enamelled gold openwork, with a cast figure of Temperance.
SOUTH GERMAN: early 17th c.
This is the full text from Bury, 1982, Case 13, Board F, no.2 [1982]


Gold; Enamel


Cast; Enamelling


Jewellery; Metalwork


Metalwork Collection

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