Pendant

1580-1600 (made)
Pendant thumbnail 1
Pendant thumbnail 2
+2
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This pendant is in the shape of the monogram IHS. A cross rises from the central letter. The gold letters are set with hogback diamonds. The upper part of each of these long stones is shaped like an inverted V with, in this case, a flat table (top) facet. Three diamond-set nails representing those used in the Crucifixion are suspended from a short chain The back of the jewel is enamelled with representations of the symbols of Christ's Passion.
The sacred monogram IHS is derived from the Greek word for Jesus. IHS jewels were very popular throughout Europe from the 15th to 17th centuries and frequently occur in portraits. This pendant is said to have belonged to William Howard, Viscount Stafford. He was beheaded in 1680 for his alleged part in the Popish Plot to kill the Protestant king Charles II.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Pendant
  • Case
Materials and Techniques
Gold, set with hog-back diamonds
Brief Description
'IHS' pendant, gold set with diamonds, Northern Europe, 1580-1600.
Physical Description
'IHS' pendant, set with diamonds and with a cross rising from central letter; the reverse enamelled with the Instruments of the Passion; suspended from a short chain are three diamond-set nails representing those used in the Crucifixion.
Dimensions
  • Height: 6.0cm
  • Width: 3.6cm
  • Depth: 0.5cm
Style
Object history
The old-fashioned cut of the diamonds probably indicates re-use. Said to have belonged to William Howard, Viscout Stafford, beheaded in 1680 for alleged complicity in the Titus Oates plot.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This pendant is in the shape of the monogram IHS. A cross rises from the central letter. The gold letters are set with hogback diamonds. The upper part of each of these long stones is shaped like an inverted V with, in this case, a flat table (top) facet. Three diamond-set nails representing those used in the Crucifixion are suspended from a short chain The back of the jewel is enamelled with representations of the symbols of Christ's Passion.

The sacred monogram IHS is derived from the Greek word for Jesus. IHS jewels were very popular throughout Europe from the 15th to 17th centuries and frequently occur in portraits. This pendant is said to have belonged to William Howard, Viscount Stafford. He was beheaded in 1680 for his alleged part in the Popish Plot to kill the Protestant king Charles II.
Associated Object
Bibliographic Reference
Somers-Cock, Anna, Princely Magnificence: court jewels of the Renaissance, 1500-1630, V&A, 1980, p.66, cat. 56
Collection
Accession Number
M.248-1923

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record createdMarch 14, 2000
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