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  • Place of origin:

    Italy (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1350 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Partially gilded silver, niello

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Francis Reubell Bryan

  • Museum number:

    M.205:1 to 3-1925

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 11, shelf C, box 7 []

Physical description

Pomander shaped as an apple, of silver, silver gilt, and niello. The sections of the body of the pomander are held in place by a pin with a screw section at the top, the whole attached to an octagonal gadrooned head to which is hinged a quatrefoil handle. Inscriptions run around the edge of each section relating to the Judgement of Paris, the interior and exterior decoration of scrolling foliage and geometric patterns.

Place of Origin

Italy (made)


ca. 1350 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Partially gilded silver, niello


Height: 6.5 cm, Width: 4 cm

Object history note

Londesborough and Wyndham Cook Collections, Francis Reubell Bryan Bequest

Descriptive line

Pomander of partially gilded silver and niello, made in Italy, 1300-1400

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

Campbell, Marian, Medieval Jewellery in Europe 1100-1500, London, V&A Publishing, 2009, p.68, fig.68
Lightbown, R.W., Mediaeval European Jewellery , London 1992, cat. no. 84, pp. 335-7, 529 -30
Schiedlausky, G., Vom Bisamapfel zur Vinaigrette: Zur Geschichte der Duftgefässe. Kunst und Antiquitäten, 4, 1985, pp. 28-38.
Ajmar-Wollheim, Marta and Dennis, Flora At Home in Renaissance Italy, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2006, cat. 197, pp. 185 and 364
Brilliant, Virginia. 'Pomander'. Catalogue entry in A Feast for the Senses: Art and Experience in Medieval Europe, ed. Martina Bagnoli. Catalogue of the exhibition held at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, October 16, 2016 - January 8, 2017 and at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, February 4 - April 30, 2017. Baltimore: The Walters Art Museum / New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016. ISBN 9780300222951

Labels and date

POMANDER with the Judgement of Paris
About 1380-1420
This may have been a love token, which a woman would wear hanging from a chain at her waist. The segments refer to the Judgement of Paris, when he had to decide which of the goddesses Juno, Venus and Minerva was the most beautiful. Paris chose Venus, here given the words: "Venus is the loveliest, her claim is clearly just".
Partially gilded silver, decorated with niello (black composition)
Francis Reubell Bryan Bequest []


Silver; Gilt; Niello




Personal accessories; Jewellery; Metalwork


Metalwork Collection

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