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Pendant cross

Pendant cross

  • Place of origin:

    Piedmont (made)

  • Date:

    1820-1867 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pierced gold sheet with applied filigree set with garnets

  • 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. They used thin sheet gold to make impressive pieces of jewellery, and decorated them with glass stones made to look like real gems. The red stones in this pendant look like genuine garnets, but they are probably doublets, made from a tiny sliver of garnet stuck to the front of a transparent glass stone.

The design of this pendant is based on a stomacher, which was a fashionable piece of jewellery among the upper classes throughout Europe in the 18th century. But the detail and execution of this piece are uniquely Italian. These pendants were part of traditional costume in northern Italy in the first half of the 19th century. The original owner would have worn it hung from a ribbon, passed through the loop at the back of the top segment.

This pendant was bought for £3 4s as part of the Castellani collection of Italian Peasant Jewellery at the International Exhibition, Paris, 1867.

Physical description

Five-part pendant, consisting of four vertical segments of flat pierced and stamped gold, ending in a stylised cross. All the segments are set with garnets in collet and conical mounts.

Place of Origin

Piedmont (made)


1820-1867 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Pierced gold sheet with applied filigree set with garnets

Marks and inscriptions

diagonal cross, with central vertical stem with oval above, in oval frame
On the front of each segment.

long illegible mark
On the front of each segment.

On the front of the top segment.


Length: 17.4 cm, Width: 6.2 cm, Depth: 0.7 cm

Descriptive line

Long five-part gold pendant set with garnets, Piedmont (Italy), 1820-1867.

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

'Italian Jewellery as worn by the Peasants of Italy', Arundel Society, London, 1868, Plate 1


Gold; Garnet



Subjects depicted



Jewellery; Metalwork; Christianity


Metalwork Collection

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