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Pendant cross

Pendant cross

  • Place of origin:

    Italy (made)

  • Date:

    1820-1867 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Sheet gold, pierced, engraved and faceted

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Italian women have always loved lavish display. Even for the poorest, a rich show of jewellery was all important. Italian goldsmiths were expert at making a little material go a very long way. Many pieces seem too large to wear comfortably, but they are usually made of very thin gold, and are much lighter than they appear. Even the largest pieces weigh only a few grams.

Huge pendants and earrings like this were worn throughout northern Italy in the first half of the 19th century. The design is based on older aristocratic jewellery, but the execution is uniquely Italian.

This pendant was bought as part of the Castellani collection of Italian Peasant Jewellery at the International Exhibition, Paris, 1867.

Physical description

Large three-part pendant of thin sheet gold, pierced and engraved in a floral pattern, with raised hollow faceted domes. The lowest part is a stylised cross.

Place of Origin

Italy (made)


1820-1867 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Sheet gold, pierced, engraved and faceted

Marks and inscriptions

'CB' or 'GB'
Mark of unidentified maker
Marked once on each of the three main pieces, on the centre of the front, at the highest or lowest point.


Length: 36.8 cm, Width: 12.2 cm, Depth: 0.8 cm

Descriptive line

Large foliated pendant of sheet gold ending in a stylised cross, Italy, 1820-1867.

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

'Italian Jewellery as worn by the Peasants of Italy', Arundel Society, London, 1868, Plate 2
'The Paris Universal Exhibition, 1867', published by The Art Journal, London, 1868, p.325.

Production Note

Worn in the northern and central provinces




Piercing; Engraving; Faceting


Jewellery; Metalwork


Metalwork Collection

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