Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Print - Rich Pendants with Monograms and Flowers
  • Rich Pendants with Monograms and Flowers
    Birckenhultz, Paul, born 1561
  • Enlarge image

Rich Pendants with Monograms and Flowers

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Frankfurt (probably)

  • Date:

    c. 1600

  • Artist/Maker:

    Birckenhultz, Paul, born 1561 (designer)
    Birckenhultz, Paul, born 1561 (engraver)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case EO, shelf 7, box A

Paul Birckenhultz’s series of engraved designs for pendants is one of several he completed during the late sixteenth century. What sets these apart is the use of initials as the focus of each pendant. Each set of initials is set on a dark ground and topped with ribbon work and a winged cherub head and hung with three pearls. Some of the pendant designs are accompanied by designs for buttons or smaller pin ornaments as well. As these designs were probably meant to be sold to jewelers who would use them for inspiration and design, it is quite likely that the initials are simply arbitrary combinations of letters. In these designs, Birckenhultz follows the work of his German predecessor Hans Holbein, whose similar designs for jewellery may be seen in the British Museum.

Physical description

Design for pendant with the initials "DE" on a dark ground. Hung from ribbon work with an upward-gazing cherub head, the pendant itself is framed by four more cherub heads, each attached to a square-cut gem, one on each side of the pendant. From the pendant hang three pearls.

Place of Origin

Frankfurt (probably)


c. 1600


Birckenhultz, Paul, born 1561 (designer)
Birckenhultz, Paul, born 1561 (engraver)

Materials and Techniques



Height: 6.6 cm cut to, Width: 4.8 cm cut to

Object history note

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, personalised jewellery was a popular form of self- ornamentation. Perhaps the most recognisable personalised ornament is the Anne Boleyn “B” pendant that hangs from her neck in her famous portrait at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG 668). Though the programmeof the ornament is simpler overall, the Boleyn pendant, like the design in the Birckenhultz engraving, are hung with three pearls, in an added ornament typical of early modern jewellery design.

Descriptive line

Paul Birckenhultz (after), one from a series of six plates, including title plate, showing designs for pendants with initial letters. German, c. 1600.

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

Hollstein, F.W.H. 1957. German engravings, etchings and woodcuts, ca. 1400-1700 Vol. IV, Beischlag-Brosamer. German Engravings, Etchings and Woodcuts, Ca. 1400-1700. Amsterdam: Hertzberger.
Hollstein, F. W. H., Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts, ca. 1450-1700 (Amsterdam: Menno Hertzberger, 1956): vol. 4, nos. 43-48.
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design, Accessions 1910, London, Printed for His Majesty’s Stationery Office 1911

Subjects depicted

Pendant; Gem; Initials; Cherub


Ornament prints


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.