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  • Place of origin:

    Oporto (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1860 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold filigree pendant

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 73, shelf C, box 6

Spain and Portugal were intensely Catholic in the 17th century, the heartland of the Counter Reformation that set out to reinvigorate the Roman Catholic Church. Traditional jewellery often incorporated Catholic religious symbols, such as the cross and heart.

The shape of this gold filigree pendant is typical of northern Portugal. Similar pendants were also made in sheet gold, with engraved or applied filigree decoration, but always in the same shape of a heart with a curved point, and crown-shaped top. In the 16th century traders carried Spanish and Portuguese fashions in jewellery around the world. Heart-shaped brooches, like this pendant, are still worn today in Malaysia.

It was bought for £2 15s. at the International Exhibition, London, 1872.

Physical description

Hollow heart-shaped gold filigree pendant, with curved tip and stylised crown at the top. Decorated in the same way on both sides with a central star, with a rosette on the joint between heart and crown, and numerous discs of imitation granulation. The suspension ring is made from a broad strip of gold sheet, decorated on each edge with twisted wire.

Place of Origin

Oporto (probably, made)


ca. 1860 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Gold filigree pendant

Marks and inscriptions

'JMR' in square frame.
Mark of unidentified maker.
On base of suspension loop.

Illegible town mark.
Possibly Oporto.
On base of suspension loop, on opposite side from the maker's mark.


Height: 10.6 cm, Width: 6 cm, Depth: 1.9 cm

Descriptive line

Gold filigree pendant heart, Oporto (Portugal), c.1860.

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

For similar, see
Vasconcelos e Sousa, Gonçalo de. ‘Colecção de Jóias do Biscainhos’, Porto 2011, ISBN: 978-9898366122, figs. 61-2.




Gold filigree

Subjects depicted



Jewellery; Metalwork; Europeana Fashion Project


Metalwork Collection

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