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Cupid the Earth Upholder

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Edinburgh (made)

  • Date:

    about 1902 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Traquair, Phoebe Anna, born 1852 - died 1936 (designer and maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold and enamel with foiled glass

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Teresa Crompton

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 28, shelf B, box 8

The Scottish artist Phoebe Traquair created embroidery, murals and illuminated manuscripts as well as painted enamels. She distinguished between 'epic' (large-scale) work such as tapestries and wall painting, and 'lyric' (small-scale) work. In 1901she began her apprenticeship in enamelling to Lady Gibson Carmichael at Castlecraig. From this time enamelling replaced book illustration as her favourite small-scale medium. She created vivid foiled enamel scenes, usually of mythical or spiritual subjects. Both her technique and designs were strongly influenced by medieval and Renaissance examples. Her jewellery, triptychs, caskets and mounted cups and covers, for instance, are all based on historical pieces.

Physical description

'Cupid the Earth Upholder'. Gold, enamelled and set with coloured foiled glass. Signed by the artist, titled and dated 1902 on the reverse.

The pendant is made from gold and enamel with foil on copper: showing a kneeling Cupid with widespread wings holding up a green globe on a vivid blue background. The enamelled plaque is modelled in relief, set in a pierced gold surround with one large and two small pendant drops of enamel set in gold. The gold surround is with two semi-precious stones. The central plaque is inscribed on the back: Cupid The Earth Upholder P.1902

Place of Origin

Edinburgh (made)


about 1902 (made)


Traquair, Phoebe Anna, born 1852 - died 1936 (designer and maker)

Materials and Techniques

Gold and enamel with foiled glass


Height: 7.5 cm, Width: 4.2 cm

Descriptive line

Pendant of gold and enamel made by Phoebe Traquair, Edinburgh, 1902, known as 'Cupid the Earth Upholder'


Gold; Enamel; Glass



Subjects depicted

Wings; Putti; Globes (cartographic spheres)


Jewellery; Accessories; Metalwork; Enamels; Scotland; Europeana Fashion Project


Metalwork Collection

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