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

The Gatacre Jewel

Pendant
ca. 1550-1560 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This pendant has several alterations.The pearl drops are replacements and the enamelled plate at the back was removed and reinstated upside down at some stage. The cameo is likely to have been made in the Renaissance and the setting around 1550 to 1560, perhaps in England. The jewel belonged to the Gatacre family of Shropshire. It was known as the 'Fair Maid of Gatacre' after Mary (born 1509), daughter of Sir Robert Gatacre. According to family tradition, she was 'a great beauty both in face and character'.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleThe Fair Maid of Gatacre (popular title)
Materials and Techniques
Amethyst, mounted in enamelled gold, and hung with pearls
Brief Description
An amethyst cameo of Medusa, set in an enamelled gold frame hung with three pearls. Probably England, around 1550-60.
Physical Description
An amethyst cameo of Medusa, set in an enamelled gold frame hung with three pearls. The pearl drops probably a later replacement
Dimensions
  • Height: 6.9cm
  • Width: 3.9cm
  • Depth: 1.2cm
Style
Credit line
Purchased with Art Fund support
Object history
Pforzheim Exhibition RF.96/1572. Once thought to be a late Roman gem, but in the opinion of Martin Henig (2007) the gem is likely to be roughly contemporary with the setting.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This pendant has several alterations.The pearl drops are replacements and the enamelled plate at the back was removed and reinstated upside down at some stage. The cameo is likely to have been made in the Renaissance and the setting around 1550 to 1560, perhaps in England. The jewel belonged to the Gatacre family of Shropshire. It was known as the 'Fair Maid of Gatacre' after Mary (born 1509), daughter of Sir Robert Gatacre. According to family tradition, she was 'a great beauty both in face and character'.
Collection
Accession Number
M.7-1982

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record createdDecember 15, 2002
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