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  • Place of origin:

    Sardinia (made)

  • Date:

    1850-1899 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cast silver and silver chain

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of Miss L. F. M. Preston

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This cast silver chain comes from Sardinia, where it is part of women's traditional costume. Chains like this, with a hook at one end and a corresponding loop at the other, were used to fasten the front of the dress, the cape and even the hood in some places. The lion attached to one end may have been worn with this chain, or may be part of a separate clasp.

Sardinian traditional jewellery is quite different from the traditional jewellery worn elsewhere in Italy. It is mostly made of heavy silver, rather than gold, and often looks like medieval work from northern Europe. This chain was described as Scandinavian when it was given to the V&A in 1937, although it was bought in Rome. Although it is now unique to Sardinia, silver jewellery of this kind was probably worn more widely in southern Italy before the 19th century. There are traces of an earlier tradition of heavy cast silver jewellery in places like Scanno, in Abruzzo.

Physical description

Breast chain made from three horizontal lengths of figure-of-eight chain, interspersed by three vertical cast openwork spacers. There is a further matching spacer at each end, one with an added hook, and the other with a loop. There is a small flat cast figure of a crowned lion hanging from the loop by means of a decorative link.

Place of Origin

Sardinia (made)


1850-1899 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Cast silver and silver chain


Length: 25.2 cm, Width: 3.4 cm, Depth: 0.6 cm

Object history note

Described as 'Bought in Rome, 1913'

Descriptive line

Cast silver breast chain, with pendant lion, Sardinia (Italy), 1850-1899.





Subjects depicted



Jewellery; Metalwork


Metalwork Collection

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