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Pendant ship

Pendant ship

  • Date:

    ca. 1580 (made)

  • Credit Line:

    Lent from the collections at Berkeley Castle

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:MET ANON.2:3-1998

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 57, case 10

By family tradition the pendant was a present from Elizabeth I to Henry Carey, (1526-1596), 1st Baron Hunsdon, first cousin of The Queen. He was the son of Mary Boleyn, sister of Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth's mother. He had a prominent career as a courtier and soldier. He played an important role in the suppression of the rebellion of the northern earls in 1570, was appointed Lord Chamberlain in 1586, and was a commissioner at the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots in 1587. When the Armada threatened in 1588, he commanded Elizabeth's bodyguard at Tilbury in 1588.

This is one of the four Hunsdon jewels which have long been associated with Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire and have been lent as a group to the British Galleries. One of the jewels, the Hunsdon Onyx, is mentioned specifically in the will of George Carey (1547-1603), 2nd Baron Hunsdon, dated 10 May 1599.

Physical description

Pendant in the shape of a ship. Wooden hull mounted in enamelled gold, the rigging strung with pearls.


ca. 1580 (made)


Height: 72 mm, Width: 51 mm, Depth: 14 mm copied from OIS April 2008

Descriptive line

Hunsdon jewel, Pendant in the shape of a ship; wooden hull mounted in enamelled gold, the rigging strung with pearls; Europe, about 1580

Labels and date

Treasures of the Royal Courts: Tudors, Stuarts and the Russian Tsars label text:

The Hunsdon Ship Pendant
About 1580

The hull of this ship bristles with cannon and a winged figure of Victory sounds a trumpet. A small boat with oars forms a pendant. Elizabeth I received a number of jewelled ships among the New Year
gifts presented by courtiers. By tradition this ship was a gift from Elizabeth to her first cousin, Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon.

Western Europe
Wood, gold, enamel, pearls, table-cut diamonds
Trustees of the Berkeley Will Trust
V&A Loan:Met.Anon.2:3-1998 []


Wood; Gold; Enamel; Pearls




Jewellery; Metalwork; Scotland


Metalwork Collection

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