The Danny Jewel thumbnail 1
The Danny Jewel thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

The Danny Jewel

Pendant
ca. 1550 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Renaissance pendants were sometimes made as amulets as a protection against danger. At that time people believed that the horn of the dolphin-like narwhal came from unicorns. They valued it highly as a detector of poison in food and drink. This pendant formerly belonged to the Campion family of Danny in Sussex.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Enamelled gold and narwhal tusk
Brief description
Pendant, 'The Danny Jewel', enamelled gold and a section of Narwhal's tusk, England, ca.1550.
Physical description
Pendant, 'The Danny Jewel',in the shape of a ship, with a semi-circular section of a narwhal's tusk mounted in enamelled gold suspended by three chains from a ring
Dimensions
  • Height: 8.4cm
  • Width: 6.1cm
  • Depth: 1.7cm
Style
Credit line
Bryan Bequest
Object history
There is substantial loss of enamel on both sides and one side has lost the goldwork which would have covered the orifice. The central boss on the other side may have been removed, re-enamelled and replaced. The number of nineteenth-century pieces made in Renaissance style makes a judgement cautious, but in the reassessments of the last forty years the Danny Jewel has continued to be considered an object made in the sixteenth century.
Summary
Renaissance pendants were sometimes made as amulets as a protection against danger. At that time people believed that the horn of the dolphin-like narwhal came from unicorns. They valued it highly as a detector of poison in food and drink. This pendant formerly belonged to the Campion family of Danny in Sussex.
Collection
Accession number
M.97-1917

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Record createdDecember 9, 2002
Record URL
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