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  • Place of origin:

    Piedmont (made)
    Romagna (worn)

  • Date:

    1800-1867 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stamped silver in a silver filigree frame

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

After the prolonged and destructive Thirty Years War of 1618–48, Europe split into a Catholic south and a Protestant north. This led to an increase in the number of pilgrimage sites in the Catholic area, and a massive expansion in the production of religious medals, crosses and souvenir jewellery, often in a form that was specific to a particular holy site. Worshippers believed that images of saints or the Virgin and Child could work miracles and offer protection against illness or the dangers of travel.

The medallion in this pendant is stamped with the image of the Black Madonna of Oropa, an important pilgrimage site in Piedmont. Women in Catholic countries, such as Italy, commonly wore crosses and other religious objects as jewellery with their traditional dress. These were often made of filigree, which was considered synonymous with traditional jewellery of all kinds in the 19th century.

This pendant was bought for £1 as part of the Castellani collection of Italian Peasant Jewellery at the International Exhibition, Paris, 1867.

Physical description

Religious medallion in an ornate filigree frame in the shape of a crowned, double-headed eagle. The medallion has a male saint in Roman armour on one side, and the image of the Virgin of Oropa on the other.

Place of Origin

Piedmont (made)
Romagna (worn)


1800-1867 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Stamped silver in a silver filigree frame


Length: 7.1 cm, Width: 6.3 cm, Depth: 1.4 cm

Descriptive line

Silver filigree pendant with a religious medallion, Romagna (Italy), 1800-1867.

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

'Italian Jewellery as worn by the Peasants of Italy', Arundel Society, London, 1868, Plate 7





Subjects depicted



Jewellery; Metalwork; Christianity; Europeana Fashion Project


Metalwork Collection

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