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Cross

  • Place of origin:

    Italy (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1867 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold set with garnets and pearls

  • Museum number:

    339-1868

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Italian women have always loved lavish display. Even for the poorest, an impressive show of jewellery was all important. Like Catholic women elsewhere in southern Europe they often wore elaborate crosses as jewellery.

The design of this cross is based on 18th century aristocratic jewellery, but the use of garnets and pearls is typical of Italian traditional jewellery of the 19th century. Crosses like this were worn throughout northern and central Italy, often with matching earrings. The original owner would have worn it hung from a ribbon, passed through the hook at the back of the top segment.

This cross was bought for £10 as part of the Castellani collection of Italian Peasant Jewellery at the International Exhibition, Paris, 1867

Physical description

Three-part pendant cross of pierced gold set with pearls in conical mounts surrounded by small flat-cut garnets. The cross hangs by a hinge from a triangular plaque, with a larger plaque at the top, with a hook on its back.

Place of Origin

Italy (made)

Date

1800-1867 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Gold set with garnets and pearls

Dimensions

Length: 13.7 cm, Width: 6.4 cm, Depth: 1.5 cm

Descriptive line

Gold pendant cross set with garnets and pearls, Central Italy, 1800-1867.

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 Central Provinces

Materials

Gold; Garnet; Pearl

Subjects depicted

Cross

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Christianity

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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