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  • Place of origin:

    Lombardy (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1867 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cast and pierced gold with faceted bosses

  • Museum number:


  • 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 facetted decoration in imitation of diamonds is typical of 19th century traditional jewellery. Crosses like this were worn mainly in the north-west of Italy. It is much heavier and more expensive than those worn further south. Its original owner would have worn it hung from a ribbon, passed through the loop at the back of the bow at the top.

This cross was bought for £6 as part of the Castellani collection of Italian Peasant Jewellery at the International Exhibition, Paris, 1867.

Physical description

Three-part gold pendant of cast openwork floral design decorated with hollow faceted bosses. The upper part is a circular plaque with a large central boss. Below this is a trapezoid plaque with an oval boss, and the lowest part is a cross, with six round bosses of differing sizes. All parts are joined by hinges. There is a loop for suspension on the back of the uppermost segment.

Place of Origin

Lombardy (made)


1800-1867 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Cast and pierced gold with faceted bosses


Length: 8.5 cm, Width: 3.0 cm, Depth: 1.7 cm

Descriptive line

Gold pierced cross decorated with facetted bosses, Lombardy (Italy), 1800-1867.

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

'Italian Jewellery as worn by the Peasants of Italy', Arundel Society, London, 1868, Plate 6



Subjects depicted



Jewellery; Metalwork; Christianity


Metalwork Collection

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