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Title: Jewellery

Author: H. Clifford Smith,

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Language: English

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JEWELLERY

BY
H. CLIFFORD SMITH, M.A.

The Connoisseurs Library

NEW YORK: G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
LONDON: METHUEN & CO.
1908

PLATE I

image sixteenth-century pendent jewels of enamelled gold

{v}

CONTENTS

  page
  List of Illustrations, ix
  Preface, xxxiii
  Introduction, xxxvii
 
EARLY JEWELLERY
Chapter I. {Egyptian Jewellery, 1
{Phœnician Jewellery, 7
II. Greek Jewellery, 11
III. Etruscan Jewellery, 20
IV. Roman Jewellery, 27
V. Byzantine Jewellery, 33
VI. {Prehistoric (Celtic) Jewellery, 39
{Romano-British Jewellery, 44
VII. The Barbaric Jewellery of Europe (The Great Migrations), 49
VIII. Anglo-Saxon Jewellery (Fifth to Seventh Centuries), Merovingian Jewellery, 56
IX. Late Anglo-Saxon Jewellery (Seventh to Ninth Centuries), 65
X. The Celtic Brooch, 75
 
THE JEWELLERY OF THE MIDDLE AGES
(TENTH TO FIFTEENTH CENTURIES)
Chapter XI. Mediæval Jewellery (Introduction), 80
XII. Mediæval England, 91
XIII. The Mystery of Precious Stones, 99
XIV. {Head-Ornaments, 105
{Necklaces, 113
XV. Pendants, Rosaries, and Pomanders, 118
XVI. Brooches—The Ring-Brooch, 127
XVII. Brooches (contd.)—Pectorals, 135
XVIII. Rings and Bracelets, 147
XIX. Belts and Girdles, 159
 
RENAISSANCE JEWELLERY
Chapter XX. Italy, Fifteenth Century, 166
XXI. {Sixteenth-Century Jewellery (General), 177
{Italy, Sixteenth Century, 183
XXII. Germany, The Low Countries, Hungary, 187
XXIII. France—Spain, 199
XXIV. England (Henry VIII—Elizabeth), 206
XXV. Head-Ornaments, Enseignes, Aigrettes, Hair-Pins, Earrings, 222
XXVI. Necklaces, Neck-Chains, and Collars, 236
XXVII. Neck-Pendants, 242
XXVIII. Rings, Bracelets, Broches, 242
XXIX. Girdles and Girdle Pendants (Mirrors, Books, Watches, Scent-Cases, and Pomanders), 270
 
LATER AND MODERN JEWELLERY
Chapter XXX. Seventeenth-Century Jewellery (General), 276
XXXI. {Seventeenth-Century Jewellery (contd.), 290
{England, Seventeenth Century, 299
XXXII. Eighteenth-Century Jewellery, 307
XXXIII. Nineteenth-Century Jewellery—The Modern Revival, 325
XXXIV. Peasant Jewellery, 341
XXXV. Jewellery in Pictures, 348
XXXVI. Frauds and Forgeries, 355
XXXVII. Memento Mori, 363
 
Bibliography, 371
Index: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, Y, Z 381

{ix}

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

B. M. = British Museum.
V. and A. M. = Victoria and Albert Museum.

A page-number appended to a description indicates place of reference in the text.

I.Sixteenth-Century Pendent Jewels of Enamelled GoldFrontispiece
 

1. Pendant in the form of a Triton. Italian. (Marquess of Clanricarde.) p. 249.

 

2. Pendant in form of a winged dragon. Spanish. (Louvre.) p. 249.

II.Phœnician JewelleryTo face p. 8.
 

1-8. From Cyprus and Sardinia. (B. M.)

 

1-4. Four gold earrings. p. 9. 1. Chrysalis form. 2-3. A pair: birds perched above a bushel of grain. 4. Long oval ring terminating with a cross.

 

5-6. Two necklaces with pendent heads in the Egyptian style, from Tharros in Sardinia. p. 10. 5. Beads of glass and gold. 6. Carnelian bugles.

 

7-8. Two seal pendants of silver, set with sard scarabs.

 

9. Ibero-Phœnician stone bust, known as the "Lady of Elché." p. 9. (Louvre.) (Photo, Giraudon.)

III.Early Greek Jewellery To face p. 12.
 

1. Three gold plates or discs from Mycenæ. p. 11. (National Museum, Athens.)

 

2-7. Gold ornaments of the Mycenæan period. p. 12. (B. M.)

 

2. Pendant from Ægina: figure in Egyptian costume grasping geese.

 

3. Plaque from Kameiros: winged goddess, with two lions in the round, and owls at the top.

 

4. Diadem of spiral ornament, from Enkomi (Salamis), Cyprus.

 

5-6. Pair of leech-shaped earrings, from Enkomi.

 

7. Pendent pomegranate of granulated gold, from Enkomi.

IV.Greek Jewellery (Earrings, Necklace and Hair-pin). (B. M.) To face p. 16.
  1-3. Three earrings. p. 15. 1. Head of a goat with garnet eye. 2. Pendent Cupids and Victories (Kyme, in Æolis). 3. Eros with a jug (Crete).
 

4. Gold necklace with pendent tassels in form of pomegranates (Kyme).

 

5. Pair of gold earrings set with garnets and emeralds, connected by a plaited chain. (Tyszkiewicz Collection.)

 

6. Gold pin from Paphos, Cyprus. p. 17.

V.Greek Jewellery (Crown, Necklaces, Bracelet, Rings). (B. M.)To face p. 18.
 

1. Gold crown from Magna Græcia, second century b.c. (Tyszkiewicz Collection.) p. 17.

 

2. Necklace with enamelled rosettes and filigree. (Blacas Collection.)

 

3. Enamelled gold necklace from Melos. p. 17.

 

4. Gold bracelet with bulls' heads. (Blacas Collection.)

  5. Four rings. 1. Gold, demon with Sphynx and panther (early Ionic). 2. Silver, surmounted by gold fly (Cyprus). p. 10. 3. Gold, engraved with figures of Aphrodite and Eros. 4. Gold, with busts of Serapis and Isis (Græco-Roman).
VI.Etruscan Jewellery (Pins, Necklaces, Earrings). (B. M.)To face p. 22.
 

1. Hair pins and balls of granulated gold, from Etruria.

 

2. Primitive necklace of amber, gold, and electrum, from Præneste. p. 24.

 

3. Necklace hung with pendent vases and heads of Io.

 

4. Necklace with pendent head of a faun. p. 24.

 

5. Chain with pendent head of a negro. p. 24.

 

6. Necklace of plasma and gold beads, with basalt amulet pendant. p. 25.

 

7-8. Earrings. p. 23. 7. Saddle-shaped, with fine granulation. 8. Pendent cock in white enamel.

VII.Etruscan Jewellery (Brooches, Diadem, Bracelet, Rings). (B. M.)To face p. 24.
 

1. Early fibula from Cervetri, surmounted with figures of lions. p. 25.

 

2. Gold diadem of ivy leaves and berries. p. 23.

 

3. Fibula from Tuscana, with meander pattern in fine granulation.

 

4. Early bracelet from Cervetri, with minute granular work. p. 25.

  5-8. Four rings. 1. Bezel mounted with intaglio, gold border with tendril pattern (Chiusi). 2. Cartouche with figures of shepherd and dog (Chiusi). 3. Intaglio bezel supported by lions. p. 25. 4. Large oval bezel bordered with dolphins and waves (Bolsena). p. 26.
VIII.Roman JewelleryTo face p. 30.
 

1-6. (B. M.)

 

1. Gold necklace set with garnets, and a pendant in form of a butterfly.

 

2. Gold necklace, with a pendent aureus of Domitian. p. 30.

 

3. Gold hair-pin from Tarentum surmounted by a figure of Aphrodite. p. 28.

 

4-6. Three gold rings. pp. 31-32. 4. Serpent form. 5. Open-worked, set with a nicolo intaglio—a mask of a Satyr. 6. Eye-shaped, with open-work shoulders, set with a nicolo.

 

7-15. (V. and A. M.)

  7-10. Earrings. pp. 28-29. 7. Porphyry drop. 8. Two pearls (crotalia) suspended from yoke. 9. Basket of fruit set with garnet, a carnelian bead, and an emerald pendant. 10. Large hook set with sapphire, an emerald below, and three pearl drops.
 

11. Gold bracelet in form of a serpent. p. 30.

 

12-15. Four rings. 12. Gold: tragic mask in high relief. 13. Gold: quintuple, set with two sapphires and three garnets. 14. Gold: raised open-work bezel set with a sapphire and a chrysoprase. 15. Gilt bronze: bust of Serapis in relief. p. 32.

IX.Byzantine Jewellery, and Enamelled Jewellery in the Byzantine Style To face p. 36.
 

1-7 and 9-11. (B. M.) 8. (V. and A. M.)

 

1-2. Pair of gold loop earrings: a cross patée between two peacocks confronted. About seventh century. p. 35.

 

3. Gold pectoral cross with a text from Galatians vi. 14. Eleventh century. p. 36.

 

4-5. Pair of gold and enamelled loop earrings. Twelfth century. p. 35.

 

6. Nielloed gold wedding ring: Christ and the Virgin blessing a bride and bridegroom. About tenth century.

 

7. Engraved gold signet ring. About fifth century.

 

8. Beresford-Hope cross: cloisonné enamel. About eighth century.

p. 36.
 

9. The Castellani brooch: portrait in cloisonné enamel. North Italian, seventh century. p. 70.

 

10. Gold inscribed key ring. Fourth century. p. 37.

 

11. Townley brooch. Probably Rhenish work, with Byzantine cloisonné enamels. Tenth or eleventh century. p. 70.

X.Prehistoric Gold Ornaments of the British Isles (B. M.)To face p. 40.
 

1. Ring, found at Bormer, near Falmer, Sussex.

 

2. Plaited ring, found near Waterford, Ireland.

 

3. "Ring Money" of gold and silver, found at Rustington, Sussex.

 

4. Torque fastened by a ring, found at Boyton, Suffolk.

 

5. Disc, found at Castle Treasure, near Douglas, Co. Cork.

 

6. Dress fastener, found at Crif Keran Castle, Co. Armagh.

 

7. Bracelet, found at Bexley, Kent.

XI.Anglo-Saxon and Romano-British Brooches, etc. (B. M.)To face p. 60.
 

1-5. Anglo-Saxon inlaid jewellery.

 

1. Gold brooch, from Sarre, Kent. p. 61.

 

2. Silver brooch, from Faversham, Kent. p. 60.

 

3. Gold pendant, from Faversham. p. 58.

 

4. Bronze brooch, from Wingham, Kent. p. 60.

 

5. Gold brooch, from Abingdon, Berks. p. 61, note.

 

6-7. Romano-British brooches.

 

6. Bronze brooch set with slices of Roman millefiori glass, from Pont-y-Saison, near Chepstow, Mon. p. 46.

 

7. Enamelled bronze brooch, found in London. (Hastings Collection.) p. 46.

XII.Anglo-Saxon and Frankish Jewellery (Fifth to Seventh Centuries)To face p. 62.
 

1-6. (B. M.)

 

1. Gold necklace with garnets, from Desborough, Northants. p. 74.

 

2. Gold bracteate, from Ash, near Sandwich, Kent. p. 59.

 

3. Saucer-shaped brooch, bronze gilt, from East Shefford, Berks. p. 61.

 

4 Square-headed brooch, from Chessell Down, Isle of Wight. p. 62.

 

5. Cruciform brooch, bronze gilt, from Sleaford, Lincs. p. 61.

 

6. Inlaid and jewelled gold buckle, from Taplow, Bucks. p. 63.

 

7. "Radiated" brooch of silver, enriched with gold and inlay of garnets. The back inscribed with the name Uffila. Seventh century. From Wittislingen on the Danube. 6½ inches long. p. 62. (Bavarian National Museum, Munich.)

XIII.Late Anglo-Saxon Jewellery (Seventh to Ninth Centuries)To face p. 68.
 

1-2. The Alfred Jewel. pp. 68-69. (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.)

 

3. St. Cuthbert's cross. p. 68. (Durham Cathedral.)

 

4. Dowgate Hill brooch: cloisonné enamel and pearls. p. 69. (B. M.)

 

5. Ethelwulf's ring. p. 72. (B. M.)

 

6. Nielloed gold ring with two bezels, found in the Nene, near Peterborough. p. 72. (B. M.)

 

7. Ethelswith's ring. p. 72. (B. M.)

 

8. Gold ring, found in Garrick Street, London. (B. M.)

 

9. Alhstan's ring. p. 71. (V. and A. M.)

 

10. Nielloed gold ring. p. 73. (Lord Fitzhardinge.)

 

11. Silver ring found in the Thames at Chelsea. p. 73. (V. and A. M.)

XIV.The Tara Brooch. p. 78. (Collection of the Royal Irish Academy, National Museum, Dublin.) To face p. 78.
XV.The Jewels of William of Wykeham. New College, Oxford.To face p. 96.
 

1. Monogram of the Virgin: gold, enamelled, and set with rubies, emeralds and pearls.

 

2. Silver-gilt decorations of the mitre: comprising two quatrefoils set with turquoises, two rosettes set with pastes, and hinged bands of brasse-taille enamel set with pearls and crystals. English, late fourteenth century. pp. 96-98.

XVI.Antique Cameos in Mediæval Settings.To face p. 102.
 

1. The Jewel of St. Hilary. p. 103. (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.)

 

2. The Schaffhausen onyx. p. 104.

 

3. The cameo of Charles V of France. p. 103. (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.) (Photo, Giraudon.)

XVII.Mediæval Head-Ornaments.To face p. 110.
 

1-4. Pilgrims' signs of lead. p. 110. (B. M.)

 

1. Head of St. Thomas with swords, within a cusped border.

 

2. Ampulla for blood of St. Thomas.

 

3. St. George within a border.

 

4. Head of St. John the Baptist.

 

5-8. Retainers' badges of lead. p. 110. (B. M.)

 

5. Hart lodged (Richard II).

 

6. Crowned ostrich feather (Duke of Norfolk).

 

7. Rose and fetterlock (Edward IV).

 

8. Collared hound (Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury).

 

9. Silver-gilt crown or circlet, set with pearls and coloured pastes. French, fourteenth century. p. 106. (Musée du Cinquantenaire, Brussels.)

 

10-12. Three fifteenth-century gold enseignes.

  10. Antique onyx cameo, outer frame set with rubies. Spanish. p. 111. (V. and A. M.)
 

11. "Pelican in her Piety," set with a ruby and diamond. Flemish (found in the Meuse). p. 111. (B. M.)

 

12. Figure of a dromedary in white enamel in frame set with pearls. Flemish. p. 146. (Museo Nazionale, Florence.) (Photo, Alinari.)

XVIII.Mediæval Pendants (Reliquaries, etc.)To face p. 120.
 

1. Silver reliquary set with crystal. German, fifteenth century. p. 121. (Bavarian National Museum, Munich.)

 

2 Silver-gilt reliquary, from the treasury of Enger, near Herford, in Westphalia. Fifteenth century. (Kunstgewerbe Museum, Berlin.)

 

3. Silver-gilt pomander opening into four sections. German, about 1480. p. 126. (Bavarian National Museum, Munich.)

 

4. Gold Reliquary of Charlemagne, containing a fragment of the True Cross. German, ninth (?) century p. 118.

 

5. "Reliquary of St. Louis," gold, enriched with translucent enamels, containing a thorn from the Crown of Thorns. French, fourteenth century. p. 119. (B. M.)

 

6. Gold bracelet. German, twelfth century. p. 157. (Bavarian National Museum, Munich.)

XIX.Mediæval PendantsTo face p. 124.
  1. Silver-gilt pendant containing figures of saints and angels, surmounted by the Virgin and Child. German, fifteenth century. p. 120. (Bavarian National Museum, Munich).
 

2-3, 5-8, and 10. German fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. (V. and A. M.)

 

2. Coronation of the Virgin, silver gilt.

 

3. Agnus Dei, silver gilt. Inscribed: Iecuc (Jesus) Maria Johannes Annus (agnus). On the back: Jesus Maira (Maria) Johannes Maria hilf. p. 122.

  4. Nielloed pendant, silver gilt: with the Annunciation on one side, and the sacred monogram on the other. Italian, fifteenth century. p. 173. (V. and A. M.)
 

5. St. Sebastian, silver gilt.

 

6. The Crucifixion, silver gilt.

 

7. Figures of four saints, silver gilt.

 

8. Gold cross, set with rubies and pearls. Fifteenth century.

 

9. The Devil of Temptation, silver gilt. Flemish or German, fifteenth century. p. 120. (Mrs. Percy Macquoid.)

 

10. Rosary of boxwood, with emblems of the Passion in silver. p. 124.

XX.Mediæval Brooches (Ring-Brooches, etc.)To face p. 130.
 

1-6. Gold ring-brooches (fermails).

 

1. Set with pearls and precious stones, and with four bosses of animals. Fourteenth century. p. 129. (B. M.)

  2. Enamelled blue and white, and inscribed with a text from St. Luke iv. 30. French, fourteenth century. p. 130. (Museo Nazionale, Florence.) (Photo, Alinari.)
 

3. Set with rubies and sapphires, the back nielloed. French, thirteenth century. p. 130. (V. and A. M.)

 

4. Heart-shaped, inscribed. French, fifteenth century. p. 139. (V. and A. M.)

 

5. Circular: inscribed, and set with two rubies and four small emeralds. English (from Enniscorthy Abbey), fourteenth century. (B. M.)

  6. Set with rubies and emeralds. French, thirteenth century. p. 130. (Museo Nazionale, Florence.) (Photo, Alinari.)
 

7. Silver-gilt brooch in form of St. Christopher. English (from Kingston-on-Thames), fifteenth century. p. 142. (B. M.)

 

8-12. Flemish-Burgundian gold brooches (nouches). Fifteenth century.

 

8. Two standing figures, enamelled, and set with a ruby, diamond, and pearls. p. 146. (Imperial Art Collections, Vienna.)

 

9. Seated female figure with golden rays behind: enamelled and set with pearls. p. 144. (Essen Treasury.)

 

10-12. Brooches found in the Meuse. p. 143. (B. M.)

 

10. Enamelled and set with a ruby and diamond.

 

11. A female figure, set with a sapphire, diamond, and three rubies.

 

12. Set with a ruby amidst foliage, with traces of enamel.

XXI.Mediæval Scottish Brooches. The Glenlyon and Loch Buy Brooches. (B. M.) To face p. 132.
 

1. The Glenlyon brooch. Silver gilt, set with amethysts, pearls, and rock crystal: the back inscribed. Fifteenth century. p. 132.

 

2. The Loch Buy brooch. Silver, set with rock crystal and pearls. About 1500. p. 133.

XXII.Mediæval Brooches (Pectorals and Morse)To face p. 136.
 

1. The "Eagle Fibula"; gold and cloisonné enamel. Early twelfth century. p. 135. (Mainz Museum.)

 

2. Gold brooch in form of an eagle, set with emeralds, lapis-lazuli, a sapphire, and a ruby. Thirteenth century. p. 136. (Baron von Heyl.) From an etching in Kunstgewerbe-Blatt, III. (By permission of the artist, Prof. P. Halm, of Munich.)

  3. Silver-gilt morse, made in 1484 for Albert von Letelin, Canon of Minden, by the goldsmith Reinecke van Dressche of Minden. p. 139. (Kunstgewerbe Museum, Berlin.)
XXIII.Mediæval and later RingsTo face p. 148.
 

1-2. Episcopal rings of William of Wykeham. Fourteenth century. (New College, Oxford.) 1. Gold set with a ruby. p. 149. 2. Silver gilt, with representation of the crucifixion, set with a crystal.

  3. Gold, episcopal, set with a sapphire. English, fourteenth century. (V. and A. M.)
 

4-5. The Coventry ring (two views). Gold, engraved with the five wounds of Christ and their names. English, about 1457. p. 150. (B. M.)

 

6. The Godstow Priory ring: a gold love-ring, with legends and forget-me-nots. English, fifteenth century. p. 150.

 

7. Gold, episcopal, projecting bezel set with a sapphire. French, fourteenth century. (V. and A. M.)

 

8. Gold, episcopal, of complex design, set with a sapphire. Italian, fifteenth century. (V. and A. M.)

  9. Silver, set with a toadstone. German, sixteenth century. p. 151. (V. and A. M.)
 

10. "Papal" ring. Gilt metal with cardinal's hat and crossed keys. On shoulders Virgin and Child and Saint. Inscription on hoop: episc. lugdun—Cardinal de Bourbon (?), Archbishop of Lyons, 1466-1488. Italian, fifteenth century. p. 148. (V. and A. M.)

 

11. Antique gem in red jasper, set in gold Italian mount of the fourteenth century, inscribed: S. FR. de Columpna. p. 154. (V. and A. M.)

 

12. Gold, set with a wolf's tooth, and inscribed with the charm motto: +buro+berto+berneto+consummatum est. English, fourteenth century. p. 152. (V. and A. M.)

 

13. Gold ornamental ring, chased, enamelled, and set with emeralds. Italian, sixteenth century. (B. M.)

 

14. Gold signet ring with the arms of Mortimer. English, seventeenth century. (V. and A. M.)

 

15. Silver-gilt wedding ring, set with two teeth. North German, seventeenth century. p. 262. (V. and A. M.)

 

16. Fede ring, nielloed silver. Italian, fifteenth century. p. 173 (V. and A. M.)

 

17. Ornamental ring of silver gilt, set with a foiled crystal. German, sixteenth century. p. 356. (V. and A. M.)

 

18. The Percy signet. Gold. Inscribed: "now ys thus." From Towton Field, W. R., Yorks. English, fifteenth century. p. 153. (B. M.)

 

19. Ornamental ring of silver gilt, with stag and foliage in open-work. German, late fifteenth century. (V. and A. M.)

  20. Gimmel rings, enamelled gold. German, sixteenth century. p. 261. (B. M.)
XXIV.Picture, known as the "Legend of St. Eloy and St. Godeberta," representing the interior of a goldsmith's shop in the fifteenth century. By Petrus Christus, of Bruges. p. 155. (Baron A. Oppenheim, of Cologne) To face p. 156.
XXV.Fifteenth-Century Pendants, etc. (Italian and Flemish)To face p. 170.
 

1. The "Felicini" jewel, by Francia. Reproduced from a picture in the Bologna Gallery. p. 170.

 

2. Enamelled gold pendant, figured with the Annunciation. Italian, fifteenth century. p. 173. (Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan.)

 

3. Pendent jewel of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, set with three rubies ("the Brethren"), a diamond, and four pearls. p. 209.

 

4. Two silver-gilt girdle-plates, with figures of Samson and St. Michael. Flemish, fifteenth century. p. 163. (Herr James Simon, of Berlin.)

XXVI.Designs for Jewellery by Dürer and Holbein. (B. M.)To face p. 190.
 

1. Drawings for two ring-shaped pendent whistles by Dürer. p. 190.

 

2-3. Etchings for (2) a buckle and buckle-plate and (3) a girdle-end, by Hollar, from lost originals by Dürer. p. 191.

 

4-9. Drawings by Holbein. p. 212.

 

4. Jewelled pendant: a monogram of the letters R and E.

 

5. A pendant of open goldwork with ribbon ornament; a diamond in the centre, surrounded by six pearls, and a pearl below.

 

6. Pendant formed in a monogram of the letters H and I.

 

7-8. Two pendants each formed of two stones, one above the other, set in goldwork, with three pearls below.

 

9. Pendant: a bust of a woman holding before her a large stone, on which are the words Well Laydi Well.

XXVII.Designs for Jewellery by Solis, Woeiriot, Hornic, and BrosamerTo face p. 194.
 

1-2. Engravings for pendants by Virgil Solis. p. 194. (B. M.)

 

3. Engraving for a pendant by Pierre Woeiriot, dated 1555. p. 201 (B. M.)

 

4-6. Engravings for pendants by Erasmus Hornick: Neptune and Amphitrite, and St. George and the Dragon. p. 194. (B. M.)

 

7. Drawing for pendent whistle by Han Brosamer, fitted with toothpick, etc. pp. 193, 250. (Mr. Max Rosenheim.)

XXVIII.Renaissance Jewellery of Enamelled Gold. (His Majesty the King) To face p. 218.
 

1. Painted enamel back of a "lesser George" of the Garter, belonging to Charles II. English, seventeenth century. p. 292.

 

2. Enamelled gold enseigne, with figures of St. George and the Dragon. Venetian, sixteenth century. p. 224.

 

3. Enamelled gold pendant, with figures of Apollo and Daphne: inscribed: Daphnem Phebvs Amat, etc. Italian, sixteenth century.

 

4. The Lennox or Darnley Jewel. Scottish, sixteenth century. pp. 217 and 257.

 

5. Miniature case of enamelled gold, open-worked and set with diamonds and rubies. English, late sixteenth or early seventeenth century. It contains a lock of hair of Charles I taken from his coffin. p. 257. From the Connoisseur (1903). By permission of Mr. J. T. Herbert Baily.

XXIX.Renaissance Enseignes of Enamelled GoldTo face p. 226.
 

1. Head of John the Baptist on a charger. Italian, sixteenth century. p. 226. (V. and A. M.)

 

2. Bust of Helen. Italian, sixteenth century. (Poldi-Pezzoli Museum, Milan.)

  3. Battle scene. Italian, sixteenth century. p. 225. (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.)
  4. Head of a negro in agate. German, sixteenth century. p. 228. (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.)
 

5. Leda and the Swan. By Cellini. p. 228. (Antiken Kabinet, Vienna.)

 

6. Cameo bust of Nero on sardonyx, in enamelled mount set with diamonds and rubies. French, sixteenth century. (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.) (Photo, Giraudon.)

 

7. Cameo of Diana on sardonyx in enamelled setting. French, sixteenth century. (B. M.)

 

8. Onyx cameo, winged female head in enamelled setting. French, sixteenth century. (B. M.)

XXX.Hat-Ornaments (Aigrettes, etc.). Late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuriesTo face p. 230.
 

1. Two coloured drawings for jewelled aigrettes. By Arnold Lulls, jeweller to James I. pp. 231 and 302-3. (V. and A. M.)

 

2. Gold enseigne of Sir Francis Drake: enamelled and set with diamonds, rubies, and opals. p. 230. See also Plate XXXIV, 3. (Sir F. Fuller-Eliott-Drake.)

 

3. Socket for an aigrette, enamelled gold set with rubies: initials D. M.—Dorothea Maria, wife of Otto Henry, Count Palatine of Neuburg. pp. 230-1. (Bavarian National Museum, Munich.)

 

4. Enamelled gold aigrette set with emeralds, pearls, etc. S. German, early seventeenth century. (Formerly the property of Sir T. D. Gibson Carmichael.)

XXXI.German and French Renaissance PendentsTo face p. 244.
 

1. Necklace and pendant of enamelled gold set with diamonds, rubies, and pearls. German, late sixteenth century. (Lady Rothschild.)

  2. Pendant of enamelled gold. In the centre a table-cut emerald with a triangular emerald above. French, sixteenth century. (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.)
 

3. Gold pendant: on the front two raised shields of arms; on the back the initials D. A. German, about 1530. p. 248. (V. and A. M.)

 

4. Cameo bust of a woman, the head carnelian, with amethyst drapery, jewelled gold crown; gold background and black enamelled frame. German, sixteenth century. (His Majesty the King.)

 

5. Pendant in the shape of a Sphynx. The body formed of a large baroque pearl. Head, breast, and arms are flesh-coloured enamel; the claw opaque white with gold scales; the tail green, set with diamonds. On the breast is a ruby. The base mounted with a row of diamonds on white enamel, the creatures at each end being green. The chains, of white enamel set with diamonds, hang from a ruby, from which is suspended a heart-shaped pearl. German, late sixteenth century. (Lady Rothschild.)

  6. Portrait cameo in agate. Gold mount enamelled black and white and set with four rubies and two diamonds, with a pendent pearl. The portrait (unidentified) is represented on a contemporary medal by a north Italian artist. The mount, French, sixteenth century. (Bibliothèque Nationale Paris.)
 

7. Gold pomander case: enriched with brilliant blue, red, and translucent green enamel, and opaque white. Set with rubies and pendent pearls, German, late sixteenth century. (Lady Rothschild.)

XXXII.Three Pendent JewelsTo face p. 246.
 

Gold, enriched with polychrome enamels, set with precious stones and hung with pearls. German, about 1600. (Lady Rothschild.)

XXXIII.Pendent Jewels by Hans Collaert, etc.To face p. 248.
  1. Enamelled gold pendant: in centre a figure of Charity with three children, on each side a pilaster set with diamonds and rubies alternately, with a cupid above, and beyond each pilaster a figure of Faith on one side and Fortitude on the other. German, sixteenth century. (B. M., Waddesdon Bequest.)
 

2. Design for a pendant by Hans Collaert (1581). p. 196. (Mr. Max Rosenheim.)

 

3. Pendant in the style of Collaert: enamelled gold, in the form of a ship, with figures of Antony and Cleopatra. pp. 197, 247. (Mr. Charles Wertheimer.)

XXXIV.Renaissance Pendants, etc., of Gold, Enamelled and Jewelled. Spanish (1-2) and English (3-6).To face p. 254.
 

1-2. Spanish Pendants, late sixteenth century. From the Treasury of the Virgen del Pilar, Saragossa. 1. Jewel in form of a parrot: translucent green enamel, the breast set with a hyacinth. p. 249. 2. Jewel of enamelled gold: a dog standing on a scroll, set with diamonds, rubies, and an emerald. (V. and A. M.)

 

3-4. The Drake Jewels: presented to Sir Francis Drake by Queen Elizabeth. 3. Enseigne of enamelled gold set with diamonds, rubies, and opals; the centre ruby engraved with the Queen's orb and cross. p. 230. 4. Enamelled gold pendant, containing a miniature of Elizabeth by Hilliard. p. 253. (Sir F. Fuller-Eliott-Drake.)

 

5-6. The Armada Jewel. Believed to have been presented by Queen Elizabeth to Sir Francis Walsingham. Possibly the work of Nicholas Hilliard. 5. Front: Gold bust of the Queen. 6. Back: Ark resting peacefully on troubled waves. Inside: Miniature of Elizabeth by Hilliard. p. 255. (Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan.)

XXXV.Elizabethan JewelleryTo face p. 256.
 

1. The Phœnix Jewel. p. 255. (B. M.)

 

2. Drake pendant in the form of a ship. p. 253. (Lord Fitzhardinge.)

 

3. Pendent miniature case, with carved medallion in mother-of-pearl. p. 256. (Poldi-Pezzoli Museum, Milan.)

 

4. The Barbor Jewel. p. 254. (V. and A. M.)

 

5. The Hunsdon Armlet. p. 265-6. (Lord Fitzhardinge.)

 

6. Onyx cameo in gold mount, presented to Queen Elizabeth by Archbishop Parker. (Described in Arch. Journ. Vol. XIX.) (Mr. G. E. Lloyd Baker.)

 

7. Edward VI's Prayer Book. p. 274. (Lord Fitzhardinge.)

XXXVI.Renaissance and later Rings. (V. and A. M.)To face p. 262.
 

1. Gold wedding ring: open-work hands (fede), inscribed within: Qvod Devs conivnvit homo non separet. Florentine, sixteenth century. p. 262.

 

2. Jewish wedding ring of enamelled gold. Italian, sixteenth century. p. 262.

 

3. Gold wedding ring, set with rose diamond between enamelled hands. English, dated 1706. p. 321.

 

4. Gold, set with a pointed diamond. English, seventeenth century. p. 260.

 

5. Jewish wedding ring of enamelled gold in form of a temple. German, sixteenth century. p. 262.

 

6. Enamelled gold, set with a diamond. Italian, sixteenth century.

 

7. Enamelled gold, figure of Cupid with a garnet on the breast. Seventeenth century.

 

8. Gold, set with a miniature portrait of James Stuart, the Old Chevalier.

 

9. Giardinetti ring: a basket of flowers composed of diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. English, eighteenth century. p. 295.

 

10. Giardinetti: set with diamonds and rubies in the form of a vase of flowers. English, late seventeenth century. p. 295.

 

11. Memorial: chased with death's head in white enamel, and having diamond eyes. English, seventeenth century. p. 367.

 

12. Memorial: with enamelled skull. Inscribed: Behold the ende. (Said to have belonged to Charles I.) p. 366.

 

13. Memorial: bezel enclosing painted female figure, bearing inscription: Not lost but gone before. English, dated 1788. p. 369.

 

14. Memorial: bezel enclosing funereal urn in hair and gold. English, dated 1781. p. 369.

XXXVII.Renaissance BraceletsTo face p. 266.
 

1. Gold bracelet of circular fluted links with enamelled clasp. German, late sixteenth century. p. 266. (V. and A. M.)

 

2. Bracelet of enamelled gold. French, seventeenth century. (V. and A. M.) p. 294.

 

3-4. Bracelet of Diana of Poitiers, enamelled gold, set with cameos. p. 266. (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.) (Photo, Giraudon.)

  5. Gold bracelet of Otto Henry, Count Palatine of Neuburg (d. 1604), with his wife's initials—D M P B R G H Z W V T (Dorothea Maria Pfalzgräfin bei Rhein geborne Herzogin zu Wirtemberg und Tek.) Compare p. 230. (Bavarian National Museum, Munich.)
XXXVIII.Renaissance GirdlesTo face p. 272.
 

1. Italian, fifteenth-century girdle of gold tissue with gilt metal mounts. p. 163. (V. and A. M.)

 

2. Silver gilt chain girdle. German, late sixteenth century. (Mrs. Percy Macquoid.)

 

3. Nuremberg girdle of leather, with silver-gilt mounts. Seventeenth century. p. 272. (V. and A. M.)

XXXIX.Engraved Designs for Jewellery by Daniel Mignot. p. 280. (Mr. Max Rosenheim.)To face p. 280.
XL.Engraved Designs for Jewellery by Gilles Légaré and Paul BirckenhultzTo face p. 282.
 

1-2. Designs for pendants, seals, and rings; from Gilles Légaré's Livre des Ouvrages d'Orfévrerie. p. 282. (B. M.)

 

3. Seal in the style of Légaré. The upper part gold with painted enamel; below, engraved on steel, the Royal Arms of the Stuarts, with bâton sinister, of Anne Fitz Roy (b. 1661, d. 1721, married 1674, Lord Dacre, created Earl of Sussex), daughter of Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland, and Charles II. (Col. Croft Lyons.)

 

4. Design for a pendant by Paul Birckenhultz. pp. 280-1. (Mr. Max Rosenheim.)

XLI.Engraved Patterns for Jewellery, and Enamelled Jewels executed from similar Designs. Late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuriesTo face p. 284.
 

1. Design for enamelled jewellery by Hans Hensel, of Sagan (1599). p. 284. (Mr. Max Rosenheim.)

  2. Gold ring set with flat heart-shaped garnet: design on shoulders reserved in gold on white enamel. Early seventeenth century. p. 295. (B. M.)
 

3. Design for jewellery in champlevé enamel, by Guillaume de la Quewellerie, of Amsterdam (1611). p. 284. (V. and A. M.)

 

4. Gold ring: the shoulders enamelled in the champlevé manner with design in black and white. Late sixteenth century. (V. and A. M.)

  5. Design for an enamelled ring by Hans van Ghemert (1585). p. 284. (V. and A. M.)
 

6. Design for enamel-work by Jean Toutin (1619). p. 285. (Mr. Max Rosenheim.)

 

7. The Lyte Jewel, containing a portrait of James I by Isaac Oliver. Reverse side, with "silhouette" pattern in gold and ruby champlevé enamel on white ground. English, about 1610. pp. 303-4. (B. M., Waddesdon Bequest.) (Enamel-work of identical design occurs on the back of a miniature-case, containing a portrait of Charles I by Peter Oliver, dated 1626, in the collection of Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan.)

 

8. Design for enamel-work in the "niello" or "silhouette" manner, by Stephanus Carteron (1615). p. 285. (Mr. Max Rosenheim.)

XLII.Seventeenth-Century Enamelled Pendants, etc.To face p. 290.
 

1. Gold pendant, containing an onyx cameo surrounded by ribbon-work and flowers of coloured enamel, set with rose diamonds. French. (Mr. Jeffery Whitehead.)

 

2-3. Pair of earrings en suite formed of a hand holding a bow and bunch of flowers.

 

4. Pendant: an interlaced monogram of turquoise enamel suspended from a crown-shaped ornament, enamelled and set with diamonds. French. (Mr. Jeffery Whitehead.)

  5. Gold pendant of variegated enamel (translucent and opaque) in form of a basket filled with fruit, with flowers above, and a bird on the top. (H. C. S.)
 

6. Small aigrette of silver in form of a bunch of flowers springing from a vase, set with rose diamonds, and bearing traces of enamel. (H. C. S.)

XLIII.Seventeenth-Century Enamelled Miniature-Cases, Lockets, etc.To face p. 292.
 

[*]1. Gold miniature-case by Jean Toutin: the design reserved in gold on a ground of black enamel. p. 293. (Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan.)

 

2. Gold miniature-case, translucent green enamel, with pattern in white, from a design by Pierre Firens. p. 293. (V. and A. M., Dyce Collection.)

 

[*]3. Gold miniature-case of translucent green enamel (émail en résille) with "pea-pod" design in green and red; enclosing miniature of Charles II by Samuel Cooper. p. 293. (Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan.)

 

[*]4. Crystal reliquary mounted in enamelled gold and set with a plaque of verre églomisé. Spanish, about 1600. p. 203. (Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan.)

 

[*]5. Gold locket of purple enamel with floral design in white, yellow, and green on gold (émail en résille). French. (Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan.)

[*] Reproduced by permission of Dr. Williamson, acting on behalf of Mr. J. Pierpoint Morgan. Copyright reserved.

 

6. Pendant, set with a cameo of Lucrezia de' Medici in open-work floral border of painted enamel. French. p. 292. (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.)

 

7. Gold miniature-case of open-work design enamelled in green, blue, and white; containing a miniature of James I. English. (Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan.)[A]

 

8. Gold locket with painted ("Louis-Treize") enamel of various colours in relief on blue ground. English. p. 293. (Mrs. B. Spring-Rice.)

XLIV. Rings, Slides, and Pendants (chiefly Memorial). Seventeenth and early eighteenth centuriesTo face p. 294.
 

1. Memorial ring, black enamel: set with crystal over a skull and cross-bones; dated 1740.

 

2. Gold memorial locket with faceted crystal enclosing hair; inscribed behind: "Of such is the Kingdom of God." English, late seventeenth century. p. 368.

 

3. Memorial ring, black enamel; dated 1777.

 

4. Memorial ring, white enamel; dated 1739.

 

5. Memorial ring, white enamel; dated 1793.

  6. Memorial ring, black enamel; set with faceted crystal enclosing minute pattern in gold wire. English, early eighteenth century. (1—6—H. C. S.)
 

7. Back of a gold slide: painted enamel with initials E. J. beneath a coronet. (Viscount Falkland.)

 

8. Gold ring: open-work floral pattern in painted enamel; inscribed with a posy. p. 295. (Viscount Falkland.)

  9. Silver locket surrounded by pearls, with faceted crystal enclosing monogram in gold wire. English, late seventeenth century. p. 368. (Mrs. Stewart King.)
 

10-14. Memorial slides, with various devices and initials in gold wire over hair or ribbed silk beneath faceted crystal. English, late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. p. 368. (Mr. Jeffery Whitehead.)

 

15. Gold pendant set with an antique Roman cameo in open-work floral border of painted enamel. English, seventeenth century. p. 292. (His Majesty the King.)

  16. "Memento Mori" jewel of enamelled gold; inscribed round the sides: "Through the resurrection of Christe we be all sanctified." English, about 1600. p. 365. (V. and A. M.)
  17. Gold pendant set with a cameo of Lucius Verus, in border of "pea-pod" ornament. From a design by Pierre Marchant. French, early seventeenth century. p. 292. (B. M.)
XLV. Page from the Ledger of Sir Francis Child, Jeweller to William III. About 1674. Preserved at Child's Bank, No. 1 Fleet Street, London, E. C. p. 306. (By permission of Mr. F. G. Hilton Price.)To face p. 304.
XLVI. Eighteenth-Century Jewellery, French and EnglishTo face p. 316.
 

1-3. Pendant, and two earrings en suite containing paintings en grisaille on mother-of-pearl, in gold frames set with rubies, diamonds, and strings of pearls. French, Louis XVI. (Mr. Jeffery Whitehead.)

 

4. Rosette-shaped brooch pavé with white paste of fine quality. English, early eighteenth century. (Col. Croft Lyons.)

 

5-6. Pair of girandole earrings with paste sapphires. Formerly the property of Madame du Barry. French, Louis XV. p. 217. (Lady Monckton.)

  7. Necklet and pendant of pink paste and marcasite. English, about 1760. (Col. Croft Lyons.)
XLVII.Eighteenth-Century Necklaces, etc. (Mr. Jeffery Whitehead) To face p. 320.
 

1. Necklet and pendant of paste in silver setting. English.

 

2-3. Pair of oval memorial clasps containing grisaille paintings within pearl borders. English. p. 369.

 

4. Necklace of cut steel with Wedgwood cameos in white on blue. English.

XLVIII. Eighteenth-Century Chatelaines (Mr. Jeffery Whitehead)To face p. 322.
 

1. Chatelaine (equipage) of cut steel mounted with Wedgwood ware in white cameo on blue jasper ground, hung with a watch and two watch keys. English, about 1780.

 

2. Chatelaine (equipage) of gold formed of a hook with five pendants—a scissor-case, two thimble or scent cases, and two needle or bodkin cases. French, Louis XV. p. 323.

 

3. Oval memorial clasp of blue enamel with minute design in carved ivory and pearl work, mounted in paste frame. English. p. 369.

XLIX. Empire Head-OrnamentsTo face p. 326.
 

1. Empire tiara of rose diamonds set in silver, on gold mounts. (Mrs. Kirby.)

 

2. Empire head-ornament (bandeau) of gold, enriched with blue enamel, and set with twenty-five carnelian intaglios. Formerly the property of the Empress Josephine. (Mr. M. G. Lloyd Baker.)

 

3. Empire comb en suite set with four carnelian intaglios. (Mr. M. G. Lloyd Baker.)

L. Early Nineteenth-Century JewelleryTo face p. 328.
 

1-2. Pair of earrings in form of baskets of flowers, enamelled, and set with turquoises and pearls. (Mr. Jeffery Whitehead.)

 

3-4. Pair of bracelet clasps of beaded goldwork set with various coloured stones, with Crown and Royal cypher in enamel. Formerly the property of Queen Charlotte. (Mr. Jeffery Whitehead.)

  5. Necklace and pendent cross, with brooch and earrings en suite: of beaded gold and filigree, set with pink topazes and pearls. English. (Lady Ramsay.)
 

6. Necklace, with brooch and earring en suite, of coloured gold set with amethysts and pearls. English. (Lady Ramsay.)

LI. Buckles and Necklaces. Late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuriesTo face p. 330.
  1-2. Pair of steel buckles partly plated with silver. Signed W. Hipkins. p. 315. (H. C. S.)
 

3. Girdle-clasp of faceted steel. English (Birmingham), late eighteenth century. p. 315. (V. and A. M.)

 

4. Gold shoe-buckle. English, eighteenth century. p. 322. (V. and A. M.)

 

5. Silver girdle-buckle. English, eighteenth century. (H. C. S.)

 

6. Silver shoe-buckle. English, eighteenth century. (H. C. S.)

 

7. Necklace of delicate gold filigree enriched with blue enamel and set with sapphire pastes. Early nineteenth century. (Mrs. Holman Hunt.)

 

8. Necklace of cast iron mounted with gold: the oval plaques, in open-work, alternately a spray of flowers and a figure subject in the style of an antique gem. Prussia (Berlin), early nineteenth century. p. 330. (V. and A. M.)

LII. Modern French Jewellery. (V. and A. M.)To face p. 338.
 

1. Enamelled gold brooch. By Georges Fouquet.

 

2. Neck-ornament (plaque de collier): carved horn, set with pink baroque pearls. By René Lalique.

 

3. Pin for the hair, gold, set with opals and diamonds. By Gaston Laffitte.

 

4. Gold pendant set with diamonds and an opal, and enriched with open-work translucent enamel in high relief. By Comte du Suau de la Croix.

 

5. Enamelled gold pendant, set with diamonds, opals, and emeralds. By G. Gautrain.

LIII. Spanish, Portuguese, Flemish, and French Peasant Jewellery, etc.To face p. 342.
 

1. Bow-shaped breast-ornament of gold set with emeralds, and having large emerald pendant. Spanish, seventeenth century. p. 204. (Mrs. Close.)

  2. Earring of gold filigree hung with pendants. Portuguese. p. 347. (Lady Cook, Viscondessa de Monserrate.)
 

3. Gold pendant set with rose diamonds mounted on silver rosettes. Flemish, eighteenth century. p. 345. (H. C. S.)

 

4. Silver cross set with crystals. French (Normandy). p. 342. (H. C. S.)

 

5. Pendent badge of brass, enamelled black, white, and blue, containing a crowned monogram of the Virgin. Spanish (Barcelona), seventeenth century. p. 204. (H. C. S.)

LIV. "Adriatic" Jewellery. p. 346.To face p. 346.
 

1. Pendant in form of a ship, enriched with coloured enamels and hung with clusters of pearls. (Mr. Jeffery Whitehead.)

 

2. Ship pendant of gold filigree hung with pearls. (Mr. Jeffery Whitehead.)

 

3-4. Pair of enamelled earrings hung with clusters of pearls. (Mr. Jeffery Whitehead.)

 

5. Long earring of gold filigree mounted and hung with pearls. (Mr. Jeffery Whitehead.)

 

6-8. Pendant and pair of earrings, of gold filigree enriched with coloured enamels. From the Island of Patmos. (Mr. Cecil H. Smith.)

ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE TEXT

Safety-pin

xli

Romano-British brooch or fibula with bilateral spring

xlii

Brooch formed of double spiral discs of concentric wire ("Spectacle" fibula)

xlii

Celtic brooch

xliii

Ring-brooch (Tomb of Queen Berengaria of Navarre, wife of Richard Cœur de Lion, at Le Mans)

xliii

Buckle, with buckle-plate and tag. German, about 1490. (Victoria and Albert Museum)

xlvi

Bronze fibula. (Ireland)

xlvii

Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece, made in 1432 by John Peutin, of Bruges, jeweller to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. (From the portrait of Baldwin de Lannoy by John van Eyck at Berlin)

90

Interior of a jeweller's shop. From Kreuterbuch. (Frankfort, 1536)

98

Gold ring engraved and enamelled with figures of the Virgin and Child and St. John the Evangelist. Scottish, fifteenth century. (Nat. Museum of Antiquities, Edinburgh)

104

Necklace worn by the daughter of Tommaso Portinari in Van der Goes' triptych in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence

117

Pomander. From Kreuterbuch. (Frankfort, 1569)

126

A mediæval lapidary. From Ortus Sanitatis. (Strasburg, about 1497)

134

Mantle clasp (portion) on effigy of Henry IV. (Canterbury Cathedral)

140

Brooch of the Virgin in Lochner's "Dombild." (Cologne Cathedral)

145

English gold ring, fifteenth century. Engraved with the "Annunciation," and the words en bon an. (Mr. E. Richardson-Cox)

150

French gold ring, fourteenth century. (Louvre)

154

A goldsmith in his workshop. From Hortus Sanitatis. (Strasburg, 1536)

158

"Luckenbooth" brooch of silver. (Nat. Museum of Antiquities, Edinburgh)

165

Pendant worn by one of the Three Graces in Botticelli's "Primavera."

169

Jewel, in Ghirlandaio's portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni

170

Brooch worn by the Virgin on fifteenth-century Florentine picture (No. 296, National Gallery, London)

174

A fifteenth-century jeweller. From Ortus Sanitatis. (Strasburg, about 1497)

176

Design for a pendent whistle by Hans Brosamer

198

Design for a pendant by Hans Brosamer

205

Earring, from Portrait of a Lady by Sodoma. (Frankfort Gallery)

233

Design for a pendant by Jacques Androuet Ducerceau

241

The Penruddock Jewel

252

Triple rings set with pointed diamonds. Device of Cosimo de' Medici. From Paolo Giovio's Dialogo dell' imprese. (Figured in Botticelli's "Pallas" in the Pitti Gallery)

260

Rings on a roll of parchment. From Kreuterbuch. (Frankfort, 1536)

263

Design for a bracelet by Jacques Androuet Ducerceau

269

Jean Toutin in his workshop, firing an enamelled jewel

289

Design for a pendent miniature-frame by Pierre Marchant

306

{xxxiii}

PREFACE

THE term Jewellery is used generally in a very wide sense, and it has been necessary to impose certain limitations upon its meaning for the purpose of the present work. Jewellery may be defined as comprising various objects adapted to personal ornament, precious in themselves or rendered precious by their workmanship. The jewel worn as a personal ornament may be merely decorative, such as the aigrette or the pendant, or it may be useful as well as ornamental, such as the brooch or the girdle. Gems and precious stones are not jewels, in the present sense, until the jeweller's skill has wrought and set them. This definition will be found to correspond with the term minuteria adopted by Italian writers on the goldsmith's art for objects in precious materials employed for the adornment of the person, as distinct from grosseria—those fashioned for household use or ornament.

With the exception of a chapter dealing with Egyptian jewellery, I have confined myself solely to Europe. The work falls into four main divisions. The first deals with the jewellery worn during classical times, and until the ninth century of our era. The second treats of the jewels of the Middle Ages. The third is devoted to the jewels of the Renaissance, and the fourth includes those of subsequent times. In the chapters dealing with Renaissance and later jewellery I have endeavoured to utilise the valuable evidence, hitherto generally overlooked or neglected, which may be derived from the engraved designs and working drawings of jewellers, from personal inventories, and from pictures by the old masters. Perhaps too generous a share of attention has been bestowed on English work; but this may be pardoned when it is remembered that the previous literature of jewellery has been almost entirely from the pens of French and German writers. While fully appreciating the importance and interest of the recent revival of artistic jewellery, I have not thought it necessary, in a book intended mainly for the connoisseur, to give more than a rapid review of the main features of the modern movement, with a brief mention of some prominent craftsmen therein employed. For similar reasons no general account is given of the processes of manufacturing articles of jewellery, though references are made to technical methods when they serve to explain points of artistic importance.

Assistance has been supplied by numerous works. The largest debt is due to the learned art historian Ferdinand Luthmer, whose standard work Gold und Silber has afforded most important aid. From Rücklin's Schmuckbuch I have constantly derived instruction; and Fontenay's Bijoux anciens et modernes has been a storehouse of information. Other books which have been of service are included in the Bibliography.

It is now my duty and pleasure to express my obligations to all those whose unvarying kindness has facilitated my researches. Special thanks are due: to Lady Rothschild, who has presented me with photographs, specially taken for the purpose, of some of her choicest jewels; to Lady Fuller-Eliott-Drake, who at considerable personal inconvenience brought the Drake jewels to London; to Mr. Jeffery Whitehead, who despatched for my use a number of jewels from his collection; to Mr. Max Rosenheim, who, besides placing at my disposal his unrivalled series of engraved designs for jewellery, has read through and corrected the portion of the subject dealing with engraved ornament; to Sir John Evans, k.c.b., who has guided me personally through his splendid collections of early jewellery; and to Dr. Williamson, for assisting me in many ways, and for the loan, on behalf of Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan, of copyright photographs of the finest enamelled miniature-cases from his catalogue of Mr. Morgan's collection, with leave to describe and reproduce such of them as I might select for this volume.

Among those who have favoured me with permission to publish the treasures in their possession I must gratefully mention Lady Cook (Viscondessa de Monserrate), Lady Ramsay, Lady Monckton, Mrs. Holman Hunt, Mrs. Percy Macquoid, the Marquess of Clanricarde, Viscount Falkland, and Lord Fitzhardinge; also Herr James Simon, of Berlin, and Lieut.-Col. G. B. Croft Lyons, who have presented me with photographs of their jewels. Thanks are also due to Dr. Kitchin, Dean of Durham, for the photograph of St. Cuthbert's Cross; to Dr. Spooner, Warden of New College, for permission and aid in photographing the New College jewels; to Dr. J. Anderson, Director of the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, for the loan of blocks of two jewels in the Edinburgh Museum; to Mr. F. G. Hilton Price, who enabled me to photograph the old ledgers in Child's Bank; and to Mr. J. T. Herbert Baily, for leave to reproduce illustrations to my articles on the King's gems and jewels at Windsor Castle in the "Connoisseur" (1902-3). The names of many others, who have kindly lent me jewels or photographs, will be found, attached to the individual objects, in the List of Illustrations.

I would especially thank, amongst others, the following officers of the Continental museums who have generously presented me with photographs of articles of jewellery in the collections under their charge, or have aided me with their advice:—Sir Henry Angst, k.c.m.g., British Consul-General for Switzerland, late Director of the Zurich Museum; M. E. van Overloop, Conservator of the Royal Museums, Brussels; Dr. Lindenschmidt, Director of the Mainz Museum; Dr. Hermann J. Hermann, Keeper of the Imperial Art Collections, Vienna; Dr. Wilhelm Behncke, late of the Kunstgewerbe Museum, Berlin; Dr. H. Graf, Director of the Bavarian National Museum, Munich; Dr. L. Curtius, of the Antiquarium, Munich; and M. J. de Foville, of the Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

Grateful acknowledgment is also due to the officers of the British Museum for the help they have given me, particularly to Mr. Cyril Davenport for numerous valuable suggestions. To my colleagues in the Victoria and Albert Museum I owe cordial thanks for much encouragement and help, particularly to Mr. A. Van de Put for his aid in reading through the proofs of this volume; and above all to Mr. Martin Hardie, a.r.e., who, besides executing the pen-drawings which illustrate the text, has assisted me in various ways, and throughout the whole course of the present work has favoured me with constant advice and suggestions.

H. Clifford Smith


{xxxvii}

INTRODUCTION

THE love of ornament prompted by vanity is inherent in the human race. A most primitive instinct of human beings is to make their persons more beautiful, more imposing, or more striking by ornamentation. This inclination is as old as dress itself, nay, perhaps, dates even further back. For there are tribes to whom climate and civilisation have not yet suggested the necessity of clothing the body, but who nevertheless possess ornaments of some degree of development. From the rudest of beginnings up to the last refinements of art, jewelled ornaments have ever the same purpose in view—to give prominence to individual parts of the body by means of glittering, beautiful objects which involuntarily draw the eye of the spectator in the desired direction.

Jewellery is not only worn with the purpose of attracting attention and setting off the beauty of the person, but satisfies the desire, not less deep-rooted in humanity, of establishing a distinctive mark of rank and dignity. In fact the wearing of certain kinds of ornaments has at times been fixed by legislation.

Among savages, and races not far removed from barbarism, it may be observed that the love of ornament is chiefly characteristic of men. As civilisation advances it is displayed more and more by women alone. Yet even a century ago, among the most civilised nations of Europe, the "beaux" and "macaronis" adorned themselves with jewellery of all kinds. To-day, however, it is confined, and with greater propriety, almost entirely to women. Desirous always of pleasing, the gentle sex has ever sought to add to its charms by adorning itself with jewels.

Two methods of dealing with the history of the present subject present themselves. One method consists in taking individual classes of jewellery, tracing their complete development, and following the changes they undergo during the various periods of civilisation. By the other—the historical method—all types of jewellery in existence at a particular time are examined side by side within the historical period to which they belong. The general changes that take place at one epoch find an echo in every piece of jewellery that belongs to that epoch. The different classes of jewellery during every period all bear a distinct relationship of style. For instance, the changes which take place in the aspect of the necklace at a particular epoch will be found to occur at the same time in that of the bracelet and girdle. But there may exist the widest divergence in style and idea between a particular piece of jewellery and its successor of a subsequent period. For these reasons an historical and chronological mode of treatment has been adopted, which will allow more completeness of observation, and fuller and more scientific investigation of style and craftmanship. Certain difficulties are nevertheless encountered, because periods and fashions naturally overlap. This is particularly the case in times when communication was not easy; since some people {xxxix} would cling to an old form of jewellery, while others, more travelled or more fashionably minded, would prefer a new.

In proceeding towards a systematic classification of personal ornaments it may be advisable, instead of dealing with the separate ornaments of each period according to their relative importance or prominence, to follow a simpler and more natural plan. Thus, the ornaments dealt with in each succeeding epoch will in every case be those worn: (1) on the head—diadems, tiaras, aigrettes, hair-pins, jewels for the hat and cap, and earrings; (2) on the neck—necklaces and neck-chains hung with numerous varieties of pendants; (3) on the breast—brooches, clasps, buttons; (4) on the limbs—armlets, anklets, bracelets, rings; and (5) on the body and waist—girdles and their various attachments, chatelaines, and miscellaneous pendent ornaments, such as pomanders, scent-cases, rosaries, etc.

A few preliminary words may be said respecting the evolution of some of the various ornaments employed on the different parts of the body.

The custom of decorating the head with jewelled ornaments was probably suggested by the natural idea of encircling it with flowers in token of joy or triumph. The use of diadems was in early times generally reserved for those of noble birth. From the fillets employed for binding the hair, developed circlets, which with the addition of precious stones assumed the dignity of crowns.

The use of earrings as personal ornaments seems to have originated in the East, where they have always been in favour. Earrings formed an important article of jewellery during the classical ages, but they were not {xl} commonly worn again in Europe until the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. At the present moment fashion does not decree their general use.

The necklace—one of the most primitive of ornaments—is worn either close round the throat, loosely round the neck, or low down upon the breast. Occasionally, as among savage peoples, it takes the form of a ring; but as a rule it is formed either of a simple cord, or a chain formed by the appropriate linking together of rings, perforated discs, or pierced balls. Artistic effects are produced by a regular alternation of these details, as well as by the tapering of the chain from the middle towards the ends. Neck-chains with symbolic elements are those worn as orders and as signs of dignity.

The necklace may be further ornamented by a row of pendants, or more generally a single pendent ornament. The pendant thus employed has become, perhaps, the most beautiful of all articles of adornment. It occupies a conspicuous position upon the person, and possibly for this reason has evoked the greatest skill and refinement of the jeweller's art. Its varieties are manifold—from the primitive charm, and the symbolic ornaments of the Middle Ages, to the elaborate pendant, for the most part purely decorative, dating from Renaissance times.

Next comes the important group of ornaments worn chiefly on the breast, comprising brooches, clasps and pins, employed for fastening the dress. All have their origin in the simple pin. To this class belongs the hair-pin, of which the most handsome and varied examples are to be found in ancient work. Unlike modern hair-pins which are provided with two points, {xli} they have a single cylindrical or slightly conical stem, pointed at one end, and terminated at the other with a knob or some other finial.

A simple pin for the dress was uncommon in antiquity, and its general use for this purpose belongs to comparatively recent times. Its place was always taken, especially in early periods, by a brooch—an outcome of the pin—which supplied the want of buttons. The brooch, an ornament of very considerable importance, can be traced down from the earliest civilisation, and is a valuable criterion in questions of ethnic movements. The story, however, of the growth of each of the different classes into which primitive brooches may be divided, the periods at which these ornaments made their appearance, and the deductions of ethnographical interest that may be drawn therefrom, must of necessity lie outside the scope of the present work.

image Safety pin.

All brooches, as has been said, originated from the simple pin, which itself was preceded by and probably derived from a thorn. At an early period this pin, after having been passed through the garment, was for greater security bent up, and its point caught behind the head. Later, in order that the point might be held more securely in the catch, the pin was given a complete turn, which produced the spring, as seen in the common form of our modern safety-pin. Thus constructed, the brooch, though in one piece, may be said to consist of four parts; (a) the acus or pin; (b) the spring or hinge; (c) the catch or locking apparatus, which forms the sheath of the pin; and (d) the bow {xlii} or back—the framework uniting the spring with the catch.

image Romano-British brooch or fibula with bilateral spring.

From this primitive safety-pin, which is the foundation form of all brooches with a catch, developed the numerous varieties and patterns of the brooch or fibula of succeeding ages. Amongst these is the Roman fibula, which instead of being made of one piece of metal, is of two pieces—the bow and the acus. The pin here works on a hinge—the result of gradually extending the coils of the spring symmetrically on each side of the pin into what is known as the double-twisted or bilateral spring, and placing a bar through the coils thus made. From the brooch hinged in this manner originated the Roman provincial fibula of the T-shaped type common in France and Britain, and later the cruciform brooch of Anglo-Saxon times. The brooch with with a hinge was exclusively used until the revival of the "safety pin" with a spring, patented as a new invention in the nineteenth century.

image Brooch formed of double spiral discs of concentric wire ("Spectacle" fibula.)

In addition to the above brooches or fibulæ (group 1)—all developments of the safety-pin type—there are three other large groups of brooches: (2) the circular disc type; (3) the penannular or Celtic brooch; and (4) the ring-brooch. The first of these—the type generally worn at the present day—may be described as a flat disc fitted with a hinged pin. In cemeteries belonging to the Early Iron Age {xliii} in Southern Europe circular plates have been found fitted with a pin. These plates appear[1] to have been developed by the conversion of a primitive disc of spiral concentric wire into a circular plate. From the brooch of this type sprang the circular brooch of the Roman period, often inlaid with enamel, as well as the splendid circular brooches of Anglo-Saxon times, and all other disc-shaped brooches. In all early periods, and even in Roman times, the bow or safety-pin type of brooch was commoner than the disc and also more practical, as it offered room for the gathered folds of the garment. In modern times the disc-shaped brooch fitted with a hinged or sometimes with a spring pin has been principally used.

image Celtic brooch.

image Ring-brooch (Tomb of Queen Berengaria of Navarre, wife of Richard Cœur de Lion, at Le Mans).

The two remaining groups of brooches—(3) the Celtic brooch and (4) the ring-brooch—are both developments of the simple pin in combination with a ring—in the former case penannular and in the latter annular. The Celtic brooch, with penannular ring and long pin, is apparently the result of fitting a pin to a prehistoric form of fastening for the dress—a penannular ring terminating with knobs, known as a mammillary fibula. The ring-brooch with complete ring, and pin of the same length as the diameter of the ring, which was popular in {xliv} mediæval times, is the outcome of fitting a complete ring of wire to a pin to prevent the head of the pin from slipping through the material—which ring in course of time became the more important member. It is improbable that the Celtic brooch originated in the same way, from the union of a long pin with a small ring. Nor is it likely that these two forms of brooches were evolved the one out of the other by the shortening or lengthening of the pins. As a matter of fact the two appear to have arisen independently side by side.

Bracelets and armlets may be considered together, for though the bracelet is properly only a decoration for the wrist, the term has become descriptive of any ornament worn upon the arm. The bracelet, together with the necklace, were the earliest ornaments used for the decoration of mankind. Amongst savage tribes both were worn in some form or another—the necklace as an ornament pure and simple, but the bracelet serving frequently a practical purpose, sometimes as a shield for the arm in combat, sometimes covered with spikes, and used for offensive purposes. While used universally by women in the form of a band, closed, or open on one side, or else in the shape of a spiral, or fashioned like a chain, the bracelet has been worn from the earliest times in the East by men also, especially by princes as one of the insignia of royalty, and by distinguished persons in general.

Of all jewels the simplest and at the same time perhaps the most interesting and important is the finger ring. It is universally employed as an article of personal ornament, and has been worn by both sexes at almost all times, and in nearly every country. {xlv} Sometimes it is an object of use as the signet ring, or a token of dignity as the bishop's ring. Sometimes it has a symbolical significance, as the wedding-ring. Sometimes it is purely ornamental. Most finger rings may be said to be formed of two parts—the circular portion which surrounds the finger, known as the hoop or shank, and the enlarged or upper portion which is called the bezel. This latter term, applied to the upper side of the ring, which is broadened to receive an ornament of some kind, generally a stone, seems to have originally designated the basil or projecting flange, that retained the stone in its setting. The term collet, also used for the whole top including the stone or seal, is similarly derived from the flange or collet in which the stone is set. From its box-like shape this part of the ring is also called the chaton.

image Buckle, with buckle-plate and tag. German, about 1490. (Victoria and Albert Museum.)

The belt or girdle was worn round the waist by men as a means of suspending weapons, by women sometimes merely as an ornament, and generally by both sexes for the practical purpose of confining the clothing. It is commonly formed of a band of leather or textile material. The part as a rule which receives particular attention is the fastening. This is either in the form of a clasp, or more often a buckle. The clasp consists of two parts, generally symmetrical, one of which can be hooked into the other. The buckle, another combination of a ring with a pin, is similar to the mediæval ring-brooch, but differs from it in that while the pin of the brooch pierces the material twice, that of the buckle pierces it only once. It may be described as a rectangular or curved rim having one or more hinged pins or spikes attached on one side of it or {xlvi} on a bar across its centre, and long enough to rest upon the opposite side. The buckle is made fast to one end of the girdle; whilst the other end, drawn through on the principle of a slip knot, is kept fast by pushing the point of the pin or tongue through a hole made in the material of the girdle. The girdle is attached by means of sewing a fold of it round the bar or round one side of the rim of the buckle. As a great strain was put upon the doubling of the leather or stuff, this soonest gave way. Consequently a plate of metal was passed round the bar or edge of the buckle, and the two portions of it received the end of the strap between them. The whole was then made fast with rivets. The plate is known as the buckle-plate. One end of the girdle being thus furnished, the other was frequently made to terminate with a metal chape to enable it to pass easily through the ring of the buckle in the process of buckling and unbuckling. This chape is known also as the mordant. The chief point of the girdle to be decorated was the buckle-plate, which was often in one piece with the buckle, or hinged to it. The mordant or tag was commonly decorated too, while ornaments of metal of similar design, sometimes jewelled, were applied at regular intervals to the strap or band of the girdle. In later years the girdle often took the form of a chain, on which, as in the case of chains for the neck and wrists, artistic effects were produced by a regular {xlvii} sequence of links. Fastened by a clasp, it was worn by women chiefly as an ornament, or to carry small objects for personal use. For the latter purpose it was subsequently supplanted by the chatelaine.

image Bronze fibula (Ireland).

{1}

JEWELLERY

 

EARLY JEWELLERY

 

CHAPTER I

EGYPTIAN AND PHŒNICIAN JEWELLERY

MOST of the forms met with among the jewellery of the civilised nations of later times are found represented in the ornaments of the Egyptians. It is fortunate that important specimens of all descriptions of these have come down to our days. This we owe to the elaborate care which the Egyptians bestowed on the preservation of the dead, and to the strict observance of funeral rites, which induced them to dress and ornament their mummies with a view to future comfort both in the grave and in the after life. The ornaments, however, buried with the dead were frequently mere models of what were worn in life, and the pains taken in making these depended on the sums expended by the friends of the deceased after his death. While those who were possessed of means and were scrupulous in their last duties to the dead purchased ornaments of the best workmanship and of the most costly materials, others who were unable or unwilling to incur expense in providing such objects were contented with glass pastes instead of precious stones, and glazed pottery instead {2} of gold. With the exception of many finger rings worn by both sexes and some female ornaments, the greater number of jewels discovered in the tombs are of inferior quality and value to those which the deceased had worn when living.

A peculiarity of the jewellery of the Egyptians is that, in addition to its actual purpose, it generally possesses something of the allegorical and emblematic signification, for which their mythology offered plentiful material. Among the emblems or figures of objects which symbolise or suggest the qualities of deities, the most favourite is the scarab or beetle, type of the god Khepera. The use of scarabs in burial had reference to the resurrection of the dead and immortality. Other important emblems include the uza or utchat, the symbolic eye—the eye of Horus, the hawk-god; the cobra snake, the uræus—emblem of divine and royal sovereignty; the tet, the four-barred emblem of stability, endurance, and lastingness; the human-headed hawk, emblem of the soul. These and many others, as well as figures from the animal world, were worn as ornaments, and especially as amulets to bring good fortune or to ward off evil.

Colour plays an important part in Egyptian jewellery. This love of colour was displayed in the use of glazed ware, incorrectly termed porcelain, but properly a faience, much employed for all articles, as necklaces, scarabs, and rings, and particularly for the various kinds of amulets which were largely worn as personal ornaments. The most usual and beautiful was the cupreous glaze of a blue or apple-green colour; yellow, violet, red, and white are also met with, but less frequently, and chiefly at later periods. But colour showed itself above all in the surface decoration of jewellery, produced by the application of coloured stones and the imitation of these inserted in cells of gold prepared for them. The chief materials employed for the purpose were lapis-lazuli, {3} turquoise, root of emerald or green felspar, jasper, and obsidian, besides various opaque glasses imitating them.

With the exception of enamel upon metal, which is only found in Egypt in quite late periods, the Egyptians appear to have been acquainted with all the processes of jewellery now in use. Chasing and engraving they preferred to all other modes of ornamenting metal-work, as these methods enhanced the beauty of their jewels while retaining a level surface. They were also highly skilled in soldering and in the art of repoussé work. The great malleability of gold enabled them to overlay ornaments of silver, bronze, and even stone with thin leaves of this metal; while ornaments were also composed entirely of plates of gold of extreme thinness. In articles where frequent repetition occurs, for instance, in necklaces, patterns were produced by pressure in moulds, and then soldered together.

Examples of jewellery furnished by the Egyptian tombs are to be found in the museums of almost every country. Undoubtedly the finest collection is in the Viceregal Museum of Egyptian Antiquities at Cairo. It contains jewels of the earliest dynasties, very few of which are to be found outside it. Dating from the great Theban dynasties, the eighteenth and nineteenth, when the jeweller's art reached its highest level, are many beautiful examples, notably the famous set of jewels discovered in the tomb of Queen Ȧāh-Ḥetep (1600 b.c.). Fine collections are also preserved in the British Museum, in Berlin, Munich, and in the Louvre.

Following the sequence of ornaments from the head downwards, mention must first be made of diadems or frontlets. These were composed either of ring ornaments, set with precious stones and strung in a variety of ways, which hung down over the temples, or of gold bands ornamented in cloisonné inlay with {4} the favourite allegorical representations of animals in various arrangements. In the case of royal personages there is a uræus in front.

Among all Oriental nations of antiquity of whom we have any accurate knowledge, earrings have always been in general use by both sexes; but as far as can be judged from monuments, these ornaments appear in Egypt to have been worn by women alone. M. Fontenay[2] claims that the holes visible in the ears of statues of Rameses II—such as the colossal head in the British Museum, cast from the original in the temple of Ipsamboul—have been pierced for earrings. But even so, earrings had probably only a sacerdotal or sacred significance, and were worn by the sovereign only, and on very exceptional occasions. Earrings, however, found very little favour even among women until what in Egyptian chronology are comparatively late times. Those that do occur are of the simplest kind, formed of a ring-shaped hook for piercing the lobe of the ear, hung with a blossom-shaped or symbolical pendant. Large penannular rings of various materials were occasionally employed as ear ornaments; the opening in them enabling them to be fitted on to the upper part of the ear.

Necklaces appear to have played a very prominent part in Egyptian ornaments. No tomb seems to be without them, and the wall paintings also prove their very general use. Most frequent is a chain consisting of various materials strung together, generally with a large drop or figure in the centre, and pendent motives introduced at definite intervals. The latter, of every imaginable variety of design, occur in rhythmical alternation, and are occasionally introduced between two rows of beads. The peculiarly severe and regular decorations of the Egyptians—more particularly the various charming adaptations of open and closed lotus {5} flowers—are here found in the finest forms of application. Especially is this shown on the ornament called the usekh collar, which figures on every mummy and mummy case. Formed of rows, generally of cylinder-shaped beads with pendants, strung together and gathered up at either end to the head of a lion or hawk or to a lotus flower, this collar or breast decoration covered the shoulders and chest, and is found in that position on the mummy, attached frequently to the winding-sheet.

One of the most important Egyptian ornaments is the pectoral, which, as its name implies, was worn on the breast, suspended by a ribbon or chain. In all probability it formed a portion of the everyday costume of men and women, but its symbolism points to its chief use as a mortuary ornament, and it is found on almost every mummy. Pectorals are usually in the form of a pylon or shrine, in the middle of which is often a scarab, the emblem of transformation and immortality, adored by the goddesses Isis or Nephthys.

These ornaments were made of metal—rarely gold, more often gilded bronze—and very frequently of alabaster, steatite, and basalt sometimes glazed, and of earthenware always glazed. In the Cairo Museum is a pectoral of pure gold inlaid with carnelian, lapis-lazuli and turquoises, which was found at Dashûr in 1894 in the tomb of the Princess Set-Hathor (twelfth dynasty). Discovered at the same time was a pectoral having at the top a vulture with outspread wings and below the name of Usertsen III supported on either side by hawk-headed sphinxes. The open-work pectoral of Queen Ȧāh-Ḥetep, of solid gold, also at Cairo, is one of the most beautiful of all specimens of Egyptian jewellery. Another golden pectoral, found in the tomb of Khā-em-uas, son of Rameses II, is in the Louvre.

Somewhat similar to the pectorals are jewels in {6} the shape of conventional hawks. As emblems of the soul, they are found placed upon the breast of the mummy. The finest are made of pure gold decorated with cloisons shaped according to the natural formations of the body and wings of the bird. The talons grasp a pair of signet rings. Allied to these are ornaments known as ægides, which were occasionally also worn on the breast. A very beautiful specimen, the ægis of Bast, is in the Louvre.

Sculptures and paintings represent bracelets by bands of red or blue colour on the arms, and show that the Egyptians wore four—one on the wrist and one above the elbow of each arm. Some of the earliest are composed of glass and gold beads threaded so as to form various patterns. The more solid forms of bracelet are ornamented with inlaid work. Rings for the arms, as well as the ankles, are generally of plain gold—both solid and hollow—sometimes bordered with plaited chain-work. Bracelets of thick and occasionally twisted wire, found as early as the twelfth dynasty, usually have the ends beaten out into a thin wire, which is lapped round the opposite shank so as to slip easily over the wrist. Bracelets in the form of serpents belong to the Ptolemaic and early Roman periods.

The commonest ornament is the finger ring. The ring was not only an ornament, but an actual necessity, since it served as a signet, the owner's emblem or badge being engraved either on the metal of the ring or on a scarab or other stone set in it. There are three main types of Egyptian rings. The first and simplest, composed of a seal stone with a ring attached, is formed of a hoop with flattened ends, each pierced, which grasp the scarab. Through a hole made in the scarab was run a wire, the ends of which, passing through the extremities of the ring, were wound several times round it. The revolving scarab exhibited its back when worn on the finger and the engraved side when necessary to {7} use it as a seal. The general outline of the ring is like a stirrup, a form which of course varied in accordance with the size of the scarab. In a second type of ring the swivel disappears, and the ring is in one piece. Its outline retains the stirrup form, but the inside of the hoop is round and fits closely to the finger. Of this type are rings, dating from the eighteenth to the twentieth dynasty, formed of two hoops united at the top and having the names and titles of the owner deeply sunk in hieroglyphics on oblong gold bezels. A third type, almost circular in outline, is of similar form to the signet-ring of the present day. In addition to those which were actually worn in life, are models of real rings employed solely for funeral purposes to ornament the fingers of the wooden model hands which were placed on the coffins of mummies of the eighteenth and nineteenth dynasties. The model rings are made of faience with fine glazes of blue, green, and other colours, with various devices, incuse or in intaglio, upon the bezels, which are generally of oval form.

 

PHŒNICIAN JEWELLERY

As the inventors of methods and the creators of models which exercised a widespread influence in the development of subsequent types of ornaments, Egypt, and in a lesser degree Assyria also, occupies a position of considerable importance. The chief agents in the spreading of these methods and models were the Phœnicians, the first and foremost navigators of the ancient world, who imported jewels among other articles of trade, into Italy and into the islands and mainland of Greece. Not by nature creative, but always copying those nations with whom in their wanderings they came in touch, the Phœnicians produced a native jewellery of composite type in which there is a perpetual mixture of Egyptian and Assyrian forms. As {8} they had imitated Egypt and Assyria, so they began to imitate Greece as soon as they came into contact with her. The Greeks in return made great use at first of this composite style, but subsequently shook off its influence and incorporated it only after many modifications into their own developed art. The amphora—a form of ornament in goldsmith's work which can be traced to Assyria—is one among many motives borrowed by the Phœnicians, and transmitted by them to Greece.

From Egypt the Phœnicians acquired a high degree of technical skill and mastery over materials. This finish was transmitted to the finest Greek jewellery, and to the personal ornaments of the early Etruscans. The art of soldering gold to gold, which was known in Egypt at an early period, was greatly perfected and developed by the Phœnicians; and it is generally believed that they were the inventors of the process of decorating jewellery by granulation, that is by affixing to the surface minute globules of gold—a process which attained its perfection in the skilful hands of the Etruscan goldsmiths.

The jewellery of the Phœnicians must be sought for from one end of the Mediterranean to the other, rather than in Phœnicia itself. It occurs chiefly in their settlements on the shores and islands of the Eastern Mediterranean, at Sardinia, Crete, and Rhodes, and on the southern coasts of Asia Minor, but the best and most numerous specimens have been found in Cyprus.

In addition to the actual ornaments, special value attaches also to Phœnician sculptures, principally busts, both from Phœnicia itself and from its colonies, owing to the care with which personal ornaments and details of dress are represented. Several striking examples of these are preserved in the galleries set apart for Cyprian and Phœnician antiquities in the British Museum. The most famous of similar works, {9} which include the sculptures from the "Cerro de los Santos," near Yecla in the province of Albacete in Spain, now in the museum at Madrid, is the remarkable stone bust of a woman in the Louvre, known as the "Lady of Elché," from a town of that name in the province of Alicante, where it was discovered in 1897 (Pl. II, 9). The majestic character of this figure, its sumptuous coiffure with clusters of tassels suspended by ten chains, the wheel-like discs cover the ears, the triple row of necklaces with their urn-shaped pendants—all unite to produce an effect unequalled by any known statue of antiquity. Especially noticeable among these ornaments is the diadem which encircles the forehead and hangs down from each side in long pendants upon the shoulders. With this may be compared the chains hung at the ends of the golden fillet at Berlin, discovered by Schliemann at the pre-Mycenæan city of Hissarlik in the Troad, the ornate tasselled appendages at St. Petersburg, found with the famous Greek diadems in the tombs of the Crimea, and the elaborate head ornaments with pendent ends worn by Algerian women at the present day.

The Phœnicians, as seen also by their sculptures, were addicted to the barbaric practice of piercing the upper parts of the ears, as well as the lobes, and attaching to them rings bearing drop-shaped pendants. Rings were also attached to the hair on each side of the face. They consist of a double twist which could be run through a curl of the hair, and are ornamented at one end with a lion's or gryphon's head.

Of ordinary earrings worn by the Phœnicians the simplest is a plain ring. In the majority of cases the simple ring was converted into a hook and served to suspend various ornaments, of which baskets or bushels with grain in them afforded favourite motives. Examples of earrings of this kind, from Tharros in Sardinia, are in the British Museum.

PLATE II

image
image phœnician jewellery

{10} Statues, like the Lady of Elché, show that Phœnician women wore three or four necklaces at the same time, one above the other; these vary in the size of their elements, from the small beads about the throat, to the large acorn-shaped pendants which hang low upon the breast. They display a striking admixture of Greek and Egyptian motives. Gold beads are often intermixed with small carnelian and onyx bugles, to which hang amphoræ formed alternately of gold or crystal. The Phœnicians were particularly skilled in the manufacture of glass: occasionally the sole materials of their necklaces are beads of glass. A necklace from Tharros in Sardinia, now in the British Museum, is formed of beads of glass and gold; of its three pendants, the centre one is the head of a woman with Egyptian coiffure, and the two others lotus flowers.

Finger rings are of all materials—gold, silver, bronze, and even glass. They are usually set with a scarab or scaraboid, fixed or revolving on a pivot. Silver is less common than gold; but in the British Museum is a ring of almost pure Greek workmanship from Cyprus which is entirely of silver, save for an exquisitely modelled golden fly that rests on the bezel.


{11}

CHAPTER II

GREEK JEWELLERY

BEFORE dealing with Greek jewellery of the classic period some reference must be made to the primitive and archaic ornaments that preceded it. The period and phase of Greek culture to which the primitive ornaments belong is known widely as "Mycenæan"—a title it owes to the discoveries made at Mycenæ, where in 1876 Schliemann brought to light the famous gold treasure now preserved in the National Museum at Athens. A characteristic motive of the decoration of these objects is the use of spiral patterns almost identical with those employed on Celtic ornaments. Besides these and other primitive exhibitions of decorative skill, we find representations of naturalistic animal forms, such as cuttlefish, starfish, butterflies, and other creatures. These are displayed in repoussé patterns worked in low relief. Among the most notable objects are a number of gold crowns usually in the form of elongated oval plates ornamented with fine work chiefly in the shape of rosettes and spirals.

Most numerous are the gold plates intended to be fastened to the dress. They are ornamented with spirals and radiating lines, with the above-mentioned animal forms, or with leaves showing the veins clearly marked (Pl. III, 1). Specially worthy of note also are the finger rings with the designs sunk into the oval surface of the bezel.

{12} Ornaments of this same epoch, like those in the British Museum from Ialysos in Rhodes, and Enkomi in Cyprus, have been discovered throughout the whole Ægean district. They are likewise mainly in the form of gold plates used for sepulchral purposes, ornamented with embossed patterns impressed from stone moulds. Some of them are enriched with fine granulation. This particular process, however, which abounds in Etruscan work, is more frequent on Greek ornaments of the archaic epoch, which dates roughly from about the seventh or eighth century b.c. The types of these, generally semi-Oriental in character, show the influence of Phœnician art, with its traces of Egyptian and Assyrian feeling. Lions and winged bulls on some objects betray the Assyrian style; the treatment of the human figure displays on others the influence of Egypt. Among the best examples of this Græco-Phœnician jewellery are those found at Kameiros in Rhodes, and now in the Louvre and the British Museum. Between these and the fourth-century jewels from the Crimea to be described next, the only known Greek jewels are the quasi-Oriental ones from the tombs of Cyprus, which belong to about the fifth century.

The jewellery of ancient Greece, which requires more detailed consideration, is that worn from the close of the fifth century onwards. The jewellery of the Greeks at this epoch was, like all their other works of art, of surpassing excellence. Gold was wrought with a skill which showed how well the artist appreciated the beauty of its colour and its distinctive qualities of ductility and malleability. The Greek craftsman was ever careful to keep the material in strict subordination to the workmanship, and not to allow its intrinsic worth so to dominate his productions as to obscure his artistic intention. The Greek goldsmiths excelled in the processes of repoussé, chasing, engraving, {13} and of intaglio cutting on metal, and brought to great perfection the art of soldering small objects on to thin surfaces and joining together the thinnest metal plates.

PLATE III

image
image early greek jewellery

Granulated work, in which they were rivalled by the Etruscans alone, the Greeks practised with success, but preferred filigree ornamentation, that is the use of fine threads of gold twisted upon the surface with very delicate effect. Precious stones were very rarely used in the finest work, though on many of the post-Alexandrine jewels, stones such as garnets were frequently employed. Colour was obtained by a sparing use of enamel. The value of Greek jewellery lies in the use of gold and the artistic development of this single material. The minuteness of jewellery did not lead the Greeks to despise it as a field of labour. Whatever designs they borrowed from others the Greeks made their own and reproduced in a form peculiar to themselves. In other respects they went straight to nature, choosing simple motives of fruit, flowers, and foliage, united with a careful imitation of animal forms and of the human body.

The objects we have to consider fall into two classes, according as they are either substantial articles for use or ornament in daily life, or mere flimsy imitations of them made only to be buried with the dead. As in the case of other nations of antiquity, the demands of Greek piety were satisfied if the dead were adorned with jewels made cheaply of leaves of stamped or bracteate gold. This course was followed mainly for the purpose of lessening expense; but it served also to obviate the chance of tombs being rifled by tomb-robbers or tymborychoi, who practised a profession which was common in ancient times and offered large and certain profits.

Jewels simply and entirely funereal occupy a prominent {14} position in every public and private collection of Greek jewellery. The rarity of jewels for actual use may be further explained by the fact that articles of that kind would only be associated with the grave of a person of wealth and distinction, and that the more important graves were the first prey of robbers.

The almost complete absence of specimens of jewellery from the mainland of Greece is due to those acts of pillage which continually took place at localities well known as cemeteries. Only in tombs concealed by their environment, or lost to sight in semi-barbarous countries, have sufficient ornaments been found for us to form an estimate of the perfection which this branch of the industrial arts then attained. The chief sources of these discoveries have been the Crimea, the Greek islands, the west coast of Asia Minor, and Southern Italy—known in ancient times as Magna Græcia. Of these districts by far the most important was that on the northern shore of the Black Sea, called formerly the Tauric Chersonese and now the Crimea, where in close proximity to the warlike Scythian tribes a Greek colony had settled as early as the sixth century before our era. Excavations made also in the adjacent peninsula of Taman have revealed numerous articles of gold, all belonging to the latter half of the century. The wealth of gold on the shores of the Black Sea, which is the basis of the early Greek legends of the Golden Fleece, had attracted merchant adventurers at an early date. And the Greek goldsmiths who settled there forwarded their productions both to their mother-country and to the neighbouring lands of the barbarians. Excavations undertaken by the Russian Government near Kertch, the ancient Pantikapaion, gave rise to an important discovery in 1831, when the opening of the celebrated tumulus Koul-Oba revealed a magnificent display of Greek jewellery. These treasures, and others which the enterprise of {15} the Russian Government has brought to light, are preserved at St. Petersburg in the Museum of the Hermitage.

Italy, less systematically ravaged than Greece, has proved exceedingly rich in finds of antique jewellery. Except for a few scattered fragments from Greece proper and the other sources mentioned above, public and private cabinets, outside Russia, are made up almost exclusively of the results of excavations in the burial-places of Magna Græcia.

In no ornament did the Greek jeweller exhibit his fertility of invention to a greater degree than in the variety and beauty of the forms given to earrings. They divide naturally into two classes. The first, the earlier, are ring-shaped, of two halves formed in a mould and united together. They terminate at one end with a human head—like that of a Mænad in a specimen in the British Museum—or more usually with the head of a lion, bull, or some other animal. To the second class belong those attached to the ear by a hook masked by a rosette or disc. From this hang one or more pendants of a variety of designs. In rare instances these consist of beads hung to little chains; but the logical sense of the ancients preferred for the purpose things that might be imagined as floating, such as a little figure of Eros, or a tiny Victory bearing a wreath. The place on the ring where the pendant is attached is almost invariably made prominent by a saucer-shaped rosette, a mask, or similar object ornamented with fine threads of gold. Opaque enamel, of white, blue, or green, is sometimes found applied thinly to the surface of the metal. Many earrings are of the most complicated design. When the ear-pendant was confined to a ring with a crescent-shaped lower part, this ornament would produce no effect except when the wearer was seen in profile. In order to make the ornament visible from the front, the idea suggested {16} itself to hang the crescent ring on to a smaller one. Wonderfully well executed are some of the later Greek earrings in which small figures are attached directly to the hook which is inserted into the ear. Among these are figures of Eros playing a musical instrument or holding a jug as if pouring a libation.

By the amplification of the appendages we find the simpler earrings assume such an immense increase in dimension as to make it impossible that they were attached to the lobe of the ear. It may be assumed that they were fastened to the diadem or frontlet, or to a plaited tress of hair, and hung over the ear, or more to the front over the temples. Naturally this species of ornament, owing to its weight and the many separate pieces of which it was made, would prevent the wearer from making any rapid movements, but was adapted to a slow and dignified pace in walking. It would also have the additional motive of increasing the commanding appearance of the individual. A splendid pair of head appendages of this character discovered at Kertch are now at St. Petersburg. They are composed of two large medallions representing the head of Athene, whose helmet is adorned with sphinxes and gryphons. From these are suspended several rows of amphora-shaped ornaments covered with fine filigree decoration.

The decorating of the head with wreaths was a very common practice among the ancients on festive occasions of every description. The wreaths with which the dead were adorned for burial, made in imitation of natural leaves, form a large portion of funereal jewellery. One of the most famous of this species, found in 1813 at Armento (S. Italy), and purchased about 1826 by Ludwig I, King of Bavaria, from Countess Lipona (formerly Queen of Naples and wife of Joachim Murat) is now in the Antiquarium at Munich. Here the wreath, formed of roses, narcissus, myrtle and oak leaves, is enlivened by small figures of {17} genii, while on the top is placed a statue with an inscription underneath it. This splendid specimen was probably employed for votive purposes. Dating from the third century b.c., and also from Magna Græcia, is the gold crown in the British Museum which was acquired from the collection of Count Tyszkiewicz in 1898 (Pl. V, 1). Being of more solid construction, though excessively light and elegant, this, and similarly elaborate crowns in the Louvre, were probably worn by ladies of high rank.

PLATE IV

image greek jewellery
(earrings, necklace and hair-pin)

In addition to these diadems composed of many minute parts, the simplest and probably the most usual form is that of a flat band increasing in breadth towards the middle, and ending there sometimes in a blunt point marked by a palmette.

Pins that served the purpose of fastening up and decorating the hair vary in style, their heads being formed sometimes of flowers, and sometimes of animals or human figures, resembling those employed as pendants to earrings. Probably the most important is the handsome pin in the British Museum from Paphos in Cyprus (Pl. IV, 6). The head, surmounted with a bead of Egyptian porcelain with a pearl above, is in the form of a capital of a column. At the four corners are projecting heads of bulls, and between these are open cups or flowers, towards which four doves with outstretched wings bend as if to drink.

Typical necklaces of the best period consist of a chain about three-eighths of an inch in width, of closely plaited gold wire. From this are suspended numerous smaller chains, masked at the top by small rosettes and hung below with vases, spindle-shaped pieces, or a rhythmical combination of other ornaments covered with fine filigree. The British Museum possesses several superb necklaces. To the finest one, found in the island of Melos, colour is added by means of green and blue enamel (Pl. V, 3).

{18} Bracelets and armlets, which are rarer than necklaces, are of three forms: a fine plaited chain, like that of the necklaces, united by a clasp in the form of a knot; repoussé plaques hinged together; and a circlet of beaten gold of more solid construction.

The primary object of the finger ring was its use as a convenient method of carrying the engraved stone which was to serve as a signet. Hence in early times more attention was paid to the engraving of the gem set in the ring than to its mounting. Many early rings are entirely of gold and made generally of one piece, with a large flat bezel engraved like a gem. A great number of them, though apparently solid, are hollow, and formed of gold leaf punched into shape and then filled up with mastic to preserve the form. The ornamental rings of the later Greeks have been found chiefly in the luxurious colonies of Magna Græcia. One of the most charming designs is in the shape of a serpent which coils itself many times round the finger, with its head and tail lying along the finger. It is worthy of remark that though a number of Greek rings are in existence, never in Greek art, as in Etruscan and Roman, do we find any representation of the human figure with rings on the fingers.

In earlier times simple pins formed of gold wire appear to have been often employed to fasten the dress. Bow-shaped brooches were also worn, but few gold brooches are met with except those belonging to the later Greek ornaments. These are characterised by a small arched bow and a long sheath for the point of the pin decorated with designs in fine filigree.

The goldsmith's art is much more limited in its application to girdles than to head or neck ornaments; and yet, as is well known, girdles formed an important item in the dress of men and women. The girdle over which the long tunic hung in deep folds was often of simple cords with tassels affixed to the ends: thus {19} Homer speaks of Hera as wearing a "zone from which a hundred tassels hang." Girdles appear to have been mainly of soft ligaments, which probably, with the increase of luxury, were adorned with gold ornamentations. It is remarkable, at all events, that those species of gold ornament that can certainly be recognised as girdles are obvious imitations of textile fabrics.

PLATE V

image greek jewellery
(crown, necklaces, bracelet, rings)

Corresponding to the ornaments found at Mycenæ which were employed by the primitive Greeks for decorating their garments are thin plates of gold, termed bracteæ, pierced with small holes, which served the later Greeks for similar purpose. They are repoussé, and have clearly been stamped with dies, for the designs on them show constant repetition. They are of various sizes and shapes, and it is evident that some were meant to be worn as single ornaments, while others, sewn on in lines, formed regular borders or designs on the robes. It is possible that, like the ball-shaped buttons met with in many fanciful formations, some of more solid construction served the purpose of clasps that drew together the dress at intervals along the arm, and acted as fastenings at the neck or on the shoulder. Some attachments of this kind in the form of round discs, with their gold surface richly ornamented with filigree and also with enamel, may have been actual brooches and have had hinged pins affixed below.


{20}

CHAPTER III

ETRUSCAN JEWELLERY

THE Etruscans appear to have had a peculiar passion for jewellery. Even in early times, when the excessive use of personal ornament was considered a mark of effeminacy, they were famed for their jewels. Dionysius of Halicarnassus, speaking of the Sabines, says that "they wore bracelets on their left arms, and rings, for they were a gold-wearing nation, and not less effeminate than the Etruscans." Like most other nations of antiquity, the Etruscans dedicated to the service of the dead costly articles of adornment which they had worn when living; though the greater number of these jewels are flimsy objects made for mortuary purposes. On Etruscan sarcophagi the men have torques about their necks, while the women have sometimes torques, sometimes necklaces, long earrings, and bracelets, and both sexes have many rings on their fingers.

Though systematically rifled in former times, Etruscan tombs have yet preserved to the present day a large number of jewels, sufficient to prove that the possibilities of gold were never more thoroughly grasped than by the Etruscans. Their earlier jewellery—for the later is much coarser—shows extraordinary fineness and elaboration of workmanship. They possessed a peculiar art of fusing and joining metals by the use of solvents unknown to us, which rendered invisible the traces of solder. Surface decoration was produced by {21} the interweaving of extremely delicate threads of gold, by a sparing use of enamel, and particularly by the soldering together of particles or globules of gold of such minuteness and equality as to be scarcely perceptible to the naked eye. Animal or human forms were skilfully executed in relief by repoussé, or produced in the round with the assistance of solder. But the chief characteristic of their jewellery, and that which mainly distinguishes it from the Greek, is its ornamentation with grains of gold of microscopic size.

The method of decorating the surface of gold with fine granules, which is usually termed granulation, is one which was in favour among all ancient gold workers in the countries bordering on the Mediterranean. The "pulvisculus aureus," as it was called in Italy, came into common use towards the close of the Mycenæan Age, at a time when the Phœnicians were making their influence felt in Cyprus, Sardinia, and Etruria, where examples of this method of gold working particularly abound. We are probably right in assuming that this granulated work was indigenous to the Eastern Mediterranean, and that, as it has been found upon jewels of undoubted Phœnician origin, the Phœnicians were not uninstrumental in disseminating it along their trade routes. Cellini, in his description of the process of granulation in his Trattato dell' Oreficeria, speaks of each grain being made separately and soldered on, a technique probably practised by the ancient jewellers. But in the case of the minutest Etruscan work, it is not improbable that the grains—at first natural, though subsequently artificial—were sprinkled like dust over the parts of the surface which had to be covered. This fine granulation belongs only to the early and best Etruscan jewels. Larger grains were used for later work.

It is remarkable that the secrets of the old Etruscan goldsmiths have never been wholly recovered in Europe. {22} That the art of granulation, though mentioned by Cellini, was not generally practised by the goldsmiths of the Renaissance is evident from the examples of their work that have survived. In recent years attempts have been made to revive the art; but as the well-known productions of Castellani the elder, with his Alessandro the connoisseur and Augusto, and of Carlo Giuliano, are connected with the later history of jewellery, further reference will be made to them subsequently.

As might be expected, important collections of Etruscan jewellery are preserved in museums close to the sites where the objects themselves have been discovered. One of the most extensive of such collections is that in the museum of the Vatican, which was brought together by Pope Gregory XVI from the districts which till 1870 formed part of the papal domain. The British Museum, the Louvre, and the museums of Berlin and Munich all contain a large number of ornaments from the old cemeteries of the Etruscan races. The earliest Etruscan jewellery coincides roughly with Greek work of the late Mycenæan period, and betrays, from the religious symbols expressed on it, a marked Oriental or Egyptian influence. At a somewhat later date, that is from about 500 to 300 b.c., it is evident that the Etruscans largely followed Greek models, or imported from Greece, especially from Ionia, some of the finest artists in the precious metals. Etruscan jewellery can then be divided into three distinct styles: the primitive, somewhat Oriental in character, and of fine but not artistically attractive work; the later, when the primitive art had been subjected to Hellenic influence and produced work of the highest artistic and technical excellence; and the latest style, in which Greek art, still followed, but in a vulgarised form, results in ornaments noticeable for their size and coarseness of execution.

PLATE VI

image etruscan jewellery
(pins, necklaces, earrings)

{23} The Etruscans appear to have paid particular attention to the decoration of the head. Following a custom in vogue throughout Greece, men as well as women adorned themselves with fillets; while women also wore highly ornate hair-pins, with heads shaped like balls, acorns, and pomegranates, decorated in granulation. Many of these pins must have served to fix the diadems and fillets for which the Etruscans appear to have had an especial liking. The latter are composed for the most part of the foliage of myrtle, ivy, and oak, in accordance with the symbolical ideas attached to these leaves. The greater number are of plate of gold, so thin and fragile that they can only have been employed as sepulchral ornaments—like the wreath of ivy leaves and berries of thin gold still encircling the bronze helmet from Vulci in the Room of Greek and Roman Life in the British Museum, and a similar wreath of bracteate gold around a conical bronze helmet in the Salle des Bijoux Antiques of the Louvre.

Earrings of the finest period bear a striking similarity to Greek ornaments of the same date. The first type is penannular in shape, one end terminating in the head of a bull or lion, and the other in a point which pierces the ear. To this ring is next attached a pendant. In the third type the hook which pierces the ear is hidden by a rosette or disc from which hang tassel-shaped appendages, and in the middle between them small animals enamelled white, such as the geese, swans, and cocks in the British Museum, and the peacocks and doves in the Campana Collection in the Louvre. Earrings of another class are saddle-shaped, formed like an imperfect cylinder, one end of which is closed by an open-work rose cap, which completely enclosed the lobe of the wearer's ear. The latest Etruscan earrings, of pendant form, are mostly of great size and in the shape of convex bosses.

{24} In examining the very primitive necklaces and other ornaments that have been discovered in various tombs in Italy, especially in Etruria and Latium, the extraordinary abundance of amber at once attracts attention. The amber of this ancient jewellery of Italy has accessories, sometimes of gold, and more frequently of silver, or else of an alloy of gold and silver termed electrum. A noteworthy early necklace of these materials found at Præneste, and now in the British Museum, is composed of amber cylinders, and pendent vases alternately of amber and electrum (Pl. VI, 2).

Though the majority of Etruscan necklaces aim at largeness of display, some are as delicate and refined as the best Greek ornaments. From a round plaited chain in the British Museum hangs a single ornament—-the mask of a faun whose hair, eyebrows, and wavy beard are worked with fine granulation; another pendant is a negro's head on which the granules are disposed with exquisite skill to represent the short woolly hair (Pl. VI, 5). Finer even than either of these—and a remarkable example of the combination of the two processes of filigree and granulation—is a neck pendant in the form of a mask of Dionysos (Bacchus) in the Campana Collection in the Louvre. On this the curls of hair over the forehead are represented by filigree spirals, while the beard is worked entirely in the granulated method.

A large number of necklaces have evidently been produced simply for sepulchral purposes, for they are composed, like the majority of crowns, of the thinnest bracteate gold in the shape of rosettes and studs strung together.

The chief characteristic of Etruscan necklaces is their ornamentation with pendent bullæ. The bulla, from the Latin word meaning a bubble, was usually made of two concave plates of gold fastened together so as to form a globe—lentoid or vase-shaped—within {25} which an amulet was contained. In Etruscan art both men and women are represented wearing necklaces and even bracelets formed of bullæ. Occasionally, instead of a bulla, is some such object as the tooth or claw of an animal or a small primitive flint arrow-head, which served as an amulet.

PLATE VII

image etruscan jewellery
(brooches, diadem, bracelet, rings)

Of bracelets of primitive work are a famous pair in the British Museum, which were discovered in a tomb at Cervetri (Cære). They are composed of thin plates of gold measuring 8 inches in length by 2¼ inches in width, divided into six sections, ornamented with scenes thoroughly Assyrian in character, indicated by lines of microscopic granulations (Pl. VII, 4).

Etruscan fibulæ of gold are generally formed of a short arc-shaped bow and a long sheath for the pin decorated with minute granular work. Upon the upper surface are often rows of small models of animals. Upon the sheath of a large early fibula found at Cervetri (Cære), and now in the British Museum, is a double row of twenty-four standing lions (Pl. VII, 1). The bow of the later fibulæ is sometimes in the form of a single figure, as that of a crouching lion. A considerable number of small fibulæ of this type appear to have been worn in rows down the seam of the dress. Two series of these, the one numbering twenty-one and the other thirty-nine, both found in a tomb at Vulci, are in the Louvre.

The Etruscans appear to have had a special love for rings; every finger, including the thumb, was covered with them, and a considerable number have been discovered in the tombs. The majority are composed of scarabs mounted much in the same style as those of the Egyptians. One of the finest Etruscan rings in the British Museum is formed by two lions, whose bodies make up the shank, their heads and fore-paws and supporting a bezel in filigree which holds the signet stone—a small scarabæus charged with a lion regardant. {26} Another remarkable class of Etruscan rings has large oval bezels measuring upwards of an inch and a half across. These are set with an engraved gem, and have wide borders ornamented with various designs. An example in the British Museum shows a pattern formed of dolphins and waves.


{27}

CHAPTER IV

ROMAN JEWELLERY

THE foundation of the designs of Roman jewellery is to be found among the ornaments of the ancient Latin and Etruscan races which Rome subdued. That there is considerable resemblance also between Roman and Greek jewellery is natural, for the Romans, having plundered first Sicily and Southern Italy, and then Greece itself, induced Greek workmen with more refined instincts than their own to eke out a precarious living as providers of luxurious ornaments. It is worthy of remark that, owing to various causes, Greek and Etruscan jewellery has survived in considerably greater quantity than has that from the much more luxurious times of the Roman Empire.

It is customary to associate Roman jewellery with a degree of luxury which has not been surpassed in ancient or modern times. Roman moralists, satirists, and comic poets refer again and again to the extravagance of their own day. The first named, from a sombre point of view, condemn the present to the advantage of the past; and the others, with a distorted view, study exceptional cases, and take social monstrosities as being faithful representations of the whole of society. Under the Republic nearly all ornaments were worn for official purposes, and the wearing of precious stones was prohibited except in rings; but in imperial times they were worn in lavish profusion, and successive emperors, by a series of sumptuary laws, attempted {28} to check the progress of this extravagance. Many instances might be quoted of excessive luxury in the use of precious stones, like that of the lady described by Pliny, who at a simple betrothal ceremony was covered with pearls and emeralds from head to foot. Yet Roman luxury was not without its parallel in later ages. For in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries we read how at court the women carried their whole fortunes in a single dress. Further, as far as can be judged, the personal ornaments of the ancients were for the most part subject to much less frequent change of fashion than is inevitable under the social conditions of more modern times.

With regard to ornaments of the head, diadems and fillets were much worn. Ladies of the Roman Empire dressed their hair in the most elaborate manner, and adorned it with pearls, precious stones, and other ornaments. For fixing their head-dresses, and for arranging the hair, they made use of long hair-pins. A gold specimen preserved in the British Museum is upwards of eight inches in length; it has an octagonal shaft crowned with a Corinthian capital, on which stands a figure of Aphrodite (Pl. VIII, 3).

Pearls were in particular favour as ornaments for the ears. Introduced into Rome about the time of Sulla, pearls were imported in large quantities during the Roman domination of Egypt. In Vespasian's time Pliny, referring to earrings, says: "They seek for pearls at the bottom of the Red Sea, and search the bowels of the earth for emeralds to decorate their ears." Perfect spherical pearls of delicate whiteness were termed uniones (i.e. unique), since no two were found exactly alike. Pear-shaped pearls, called elenchi, were prized as suitable for terminating the pendant, and were sometimes placed two or three together for this purpose. Thus worn, they were entitled crotalia (rattles), from the sound produced as {29} they clashed together. "Two pearls beside each other," Seneca complains, "with a third on the top now go to a single pendant. The extravagant fools probably think their husbands are not sufficiently plagued without their having two or three heritages hanging down from their ears." Earrings with single pendants were called stalagmia.

It is especially to be noticed that the shapes of all ancient jewellery and ornaments, particularly those of the Romans, were in a great measure decided by a belief in their magical efficiency. The wearing of amulets was most frequent among the Romans of all classes. They were generally enclosed in a bulla, and suspended from the neck. A remarkable specimen of a bulla, found at Herculaneum, and presented by the Court of Naples to the Empress Josephine, is now in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. The lentoid-shaped bulla was worn almost entirely by children, but other pendants, shaped like pendent vases, or in the form of a square or cylindrical box, were a not unusual ornament of the necklace of Roman ladies. They probably always possessed a symbolical meaning.

The simple neck-chain, whether supplied with the appendage or not, was called a monile; the luxury of latter times doubled or trebled the rows of chains. These were often of finely plaited gold or else of links. Other necklaces were composed of mounted precious stones, the fashion for which appears to date from the Oriental conquests of Pompey in the first century b.c. Vast quantities of precious stones were brought into Rome at that date; for the treasury of Mithridates, captured at Talaura, contained, besides many other precious objects, "jewels for the breast and neck all set with gems."

The Romans also wore necklaces (monilia baccata) composed of beads of various materials, both precious stones and glass, of many colours and various shapes. {30} Amber was largely employed for the purpose, and held in high estimation by Roman ladies, who regarded it not only as an ornament, but as a talisman for protection against danger, especially witchcraft. Amber in which small insects were enclosed was particularly prized: "the price," says Pliny, "of a small figure in it, however diminutive, exceeds that of a living healthy slave."

Both cameos and large intaglios were in frequent use as pendent ornaments, and in the most recent pieces of Roman jewellery imperial gold coins were employed for rings, bracelets, and especially for pendants to necklaces. For the latter purpose they are not infrequently found set in opus interrasile—the open-work characteristic of late Roman jewellery. The best example of cameos and coins mounted thus is a necklace in the Cabinet des Médailles at Paris.[3]

In the case of bracelets (armillæ) which were favourite ornaments among the Romans, two kinds have to be noticed. The first, termed dextrocherium, was meant to be worn round the right wrist, and follows the same rules of formation as the necklace, but no pendent motives are introduced. Other bracelets are formed of two rounded halves of solid character, hinged, and closed by a snap. The second kind of bracelet or armlet, worn on the upper arm, was the brachiale or torques brachialis; another was the spinther, which kept its place on the arm by its own elasticity. The difference, however, between the different Latin terms for the armlet is somewhat obscure. Originally of pure gold, bracelets were subsequently set with precious stones and engraved gems, and, like the specimen in the Imperial Cabinet at Vienna, with coins dating from the third century a.d. The serpent form appears to have been a favourite one among Roman ladies, and a fine pair {31} of armlets of this design are in the Victoria and Albert Museum (Pl. VIII, 11).

PLATE VIII

image roman jewellery

The Romans appear to have been more extravagant in their rings than any other people. Very few ornamental rings are earlier in date than the time of the Empire, when the passion for gold rings adorned with precious stones and engraved gems seems to have pervaded all classes; and it reached such extravagance that Martial speaks of a man who wore six on every finger, and recommends another who had one of monstrous size to wear it on his leg instead of his hand. Some individuals, we learn, had different sets of rings for summer and winter, those for the latter season being too heavy for hot weather. Their weight was sometimes very great, and it is not to be wondered that complaint was made of their liability to slip off when the finger was greasy at a meal.

Even until the latest times the ring retained its original purpose as a means of distinction or of recognition, and was used by its wearer to impress his seal on documents and private property. It continued also to be associated with the idea of power and privilege especially bestowed upon the individual. Thus the Roman paterfamilias wore on his finger a ring with a small key attached. Every Roman appears to have chosen at pleasure the subject or device for his signet—a portrait of a friend or an ancestor, or some subject from poetry or mythology. Each of these devices became associated with a particular person, and served, like the coat-of-arms of later centuries, as a mark of identification.

The commonest variety of ring is formed of a plain band of gold which widens and thickens towards the bezel, and is set with a small stone. The latter is generally engraved, but is often quite plain. The similarity of the convex sardonyx to an eye often struck the ancients, and may account for this stone {32} being frequently found unengraved in rings, and set in a collet, itself shaped into the form of a human eye. Such rings were no doubt worn as amulets. Rings containing stones set in this manner have sometimes a flattened hoop and open-work shoulders. Other distinctly ornamental rings, known by the Romans as polypsephi, are formed of two or more rings united together.

A large number of Roman rings are of bronze, and the key rings referred to are, with a very few exceptions, of this material. Iron and bronze rings were not infrequently gilded. Such rings, according to Pliny, were called Samothracian. Rings in the form of snakes were very popular, as were those shaped like a Herculean knot. Like other articles of jewellery, rings are sometimes set with gold coins of the late Empire. A few ornamental rings have high pyramidal bezels which were sometimes hollow, and were made to contain poison. Hannibal killed himself with a dose of poison which he carried about with him in his ring; so did the officer in charge of the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus. "Being arrested," says Pliny, "he broke the stone of his ring between his teeth and expired on the spot."


{33}

CHAPTER V

BYZANTINE JEWELLERY

THE peculiar interest of Byzantine jewellery lies, not only in its own composite nature, but in the great influence it exercised on European ornaments during the greater part of the Middle Ages. Byzantine jewellery is the result of a compromise between Oriental and Western influences. It retains the craftsmanship of ancient Rome and the dignity of classical traditions modified by Christian ideas, and to these it unites the skill in patient and exuberant decoration in which the Oriental workman excels.

The new era, inaugurated in 330 a.d. by the transfer by Constantine of the seat of empire to the old colony of Byzantium, was marked at first by a retention of the Greek and Latin influences; but the quantities of pearls and precious stones that passed through Constantinople, the highway of commerce between Europe and the East, soon rendered the workmen of the Empire susceptible to the magnificence of Oriental decoration. Owing to the irruption of Oriental ideas in the sixth century consequent on the sack of Antioch by the Persians and the conquests of Belisarius, splendour of material began to supersede the refinement of classical times. This tendency is admirably displayed on the rich mosaics of the period, especially those in the church of San Vitale at Ravenna in Italy, which represent the Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora. The Empress and her attendants are clothed in robes stiffened with gold {34} and set with precious stones; pearls, rubies, and emeralds encircle her neck and shoulders, and, entirely covering her head, hang down from the temples in rich festoons upon the breast. Justinian also has a diadem upon his head, and a purple and gold embroidered mantle fastened with a monstrous fibula hung with triple pendants.

The outbreak of iconoclasm in the eighth century had its influence on jewellery in causing the banishment of forms ornamented with the proscribed figures. But the iconoclastic movement was also of very great importance, since many goldsmiths driven from their country by the decrees of Leo III established themselves in Italy, Germany, and Gaul, carrying with them the processes and designs of Byzantine art.

The restoration of images by Basil the Macedonian in the ninth century opened an important period of revival of industry and art, which lasted until the sack of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204. The active overland trade with India which had been kept up for many years, with no small influence on the ornaments of the West, was much augmented; while the commercial relations with Persia were maintained.

It was during the period from the tenth century onwards that the influence of Byzantine art was most strongly felt in the West, owing to the connection which was established between the German court and Constantinople, through the marriage of the Emperor Otho II with the Byzantine Princess Theophano, daughter of Romanus, in 972.

A considerable proportion of Byzantine ornaments, as shown by the mosaics, consisted of gems sewn upon the dress. Actual specimens of jewellery are naturally of considerable rarity. The British Museum contains a small but representative collection.[4] They show a {35} difference from the jewels of classical times chiefly in the substitution of coarse repoussé and open-work—the opus interrasile of later Roman work—for fine filigree and granulation; yet filigree was employed with skill, and exercised a considerable influence on the work of European craftsmen. In general form the ornaments of the Lower Empire retained the character of ancient work, but added to it fresh designs to suit the change of religion with its accompanying symbolism. Enamel and coloured stones, employed with a reserve in antique ornaments, now formed the chief artistic aspect of jewellery. Cloisonné inlay, that is to say the incrustation of glass or garnet in cells, was made use of, but cloisonné enamel was preferred. In the majority of ornaments, however, precious stones appear to have predominated.[5]

As ornaments for the head, wreaths were worn, especially upon festal occasions. From the earliest Christian times the bride and bridegroom at their wedding wore, as in some countries at the present day, crowns of gold, silver, green leaves, or flowers, which were afterwards returned to the church.

Early Byzantine earrings naturally follow the Roman patterns. Some take the form of a penannular wire loop holding a thimble-shaped cage of filigree, the flat end of which is closed, and has in the centre a setting for a precious stone. The majority of Byzantine earrings are, however, of a peculiar design. The most usual type, from the sixth century onwards, is crescent-shaped, formed of gold repoussé and open-worked in the form of a cross patée within a circle, supported on either side by peacocks confronted. Dating from the finest period, i.e. about the twelfth century, is a pair of earrings in the British Museum, in the shape of a segment of a circle, ornamented on both sides with figures of birds in blue, green, and white cloisonné {36} enamel. Upon the outer border of each segment are pearls fixed upon radiating pins, alternating with pyramids of pellets; on the inner is a disc decorated with similar enamels.

The cross is naturally the most favourite of pendants; yet this symbol does not appear to have been commonly worn on the person till about the fifth century. Among the most interesting pectoral crosses in the British Museum is one inscribed with a text from Galatians vi. 14; upon its arms and lower part are rings for pendent gems, and in the centre the setting for a stone. Another cross, ornamented with nielloed[6] figures of our Lord, the Virgin, and two angels or military saints, has the name of its owner inscribed at the back. Both date from about the tenth or eleventh century. One of the finest and the best known of such ornaments is the gold and enamelled pectoral cross in the Victoria and Albert Museum, known as the Beresford-Hope Cross. This remarkable specimen of Byzantine jewellery, dating from about the eighth century, is formed of two cruciform plates of gold, hinged so as to form a reliquary, and set in a silver-gilt frame of later workmanship than the cross itself. The figures upon it, executed in translucent cloisonné enamel, represent on one part the Saviour on the cross, with busts of the Virgin and St. John on either side, and on the other a full-length figure of the Virgin and the heads of four saints (Pl. IX, 8). Jewellery ornamented in this manner is of great rarity; being executed nearly always upon pure gold, it has seldom escaped the crucible.

Judging from the mosaics, as, for example, the portraits of Justinian in the churches of San Vitale and Sant' Apollinare Nuovo at Ravenna, brooches of the circular type appear to have been generally worn. Their chief characteristic was the presence of three chains set {37} with jewels attached to them by loops. Coins, as in Roman times, were frequently mounted as brooches in a beaded or open-work edging. Bow-shaped brooches were worn, but not after the sixth century. Three inscribed examples of the fourth century, one of them of gold, are in the British Museum.

PLATE IX

image byzantine jewellery, and enamelled jewellery in the byzantine style

Similar in workmanship to the crescent-shaped earrings described above, and of about the same date, is a remarkable gold bracelet in the Franks Bequest. It is formed of an open-work hoop decorated with swans and peacocks enclosed in scrolls issuing from a vase. A circular medallion with a repoussé bust of the Virgin forms the clasp.

Finger rings have survived in greater numbers than other Byzantine ornaments. The majority are figured with the beautiful symbolism of the Christian belief. Some are set with engraved gems, but on most the design is produced by the more simple process of engraving the metal of which the ring is composed. In early Christian times rings were often offered as presents, and were engraved with expressions of good-will towards the recipient, whose name is sometimes mentioned. The British Museum contains a somewhat extensive collection of these rare objects in gold. Bronze, often gilded, is naturally the commoner material. Silver appears to have been scarcely ever employed. The interest of the majority of Byzantine rings arises rather from the subjects with which they are associated, than from the quality of their workmanship. There is, however, in the British Museum a very beautiful example of pierced gold work in the form of a key ring with projecting tongue, of a kind much used in Roman times, which opened the lock by lifting a latch. Upon the front of a wide hoop are the words Accipe dulcis, in letters reserved in metal in a pierced ground. The remainder of the hoop is divided into compartments, each containing one letter of the {38} inscription Multis annis. Above the inscription, in front, is a rectangular projection, perhaps for insertion into a lock. It is finely pierced with a design in the form of Greek crosses (Pl. IX, 10).

The sack of Constantinople by the French and Venetians dealt the death-blow to Byzantine art. Until well into the thirteenth century the Byzantine goldsmiths continued to exercise an important influence on their contemporaries, and transmitted to the artists of mediæval Europe such of the processes and designs of antique art as they had preserved. Their intercourse was closest with Russia, whose jewellery for centuries, even up to the present day, has followed the designs of the old Byzantine workmen.


{39}

CHAPTER VI

PREHISTORIC (CELTIC) JEWELLERY
ROMANO-BRITISH JEWELLERY

THE early ornaments of the greater part of Europe remained until late times entirely untouched by the culture prevalent in Italy and Greece. Though of great archæological importance, as revealing successive stages of culture, they do not at the present demand very detailed consideration.

The decoration of the earliest jewellery of Europe—that of the Bronze Age, which dates roughly from about a thousand years before the Christian era—is by means of spiral and zigzag patterns. Ornaments have free endings, bent in spiral, snail-shell coils. The earliest were cast, though the hammer was used towards the close of the period; solder was unknown, and rivets alone employed. Gold and bronze were the only metals employed, the latter being sometimes gilt by means of thin gold plates, while amber is often found used as a jewel.

Some idea of these early ornaments can be formed from the discoveries of objects worn by the ancient inhabitants of the British Isles. They are, however, not very numerous or important until after the Bronze Age, and until the Early Iron Age—known in England as the Late Celtic period—is reached.

The ornaments of the Britons—that is to say the Brythons or iron-using Celts—before they became subject {40} to Rome are somewhat rare, for few objects of value were buried in graves. Such as have been found comprise bronze pins, brooches, torques, and bracelets; beads of amber, jet, bone, and glass, and bracelets also of jet.

Golden ornaments, like those laid bare by Schliemann at Mycenæ, concealed either as votive offerings or for the sake of security, have been brought to light from time to time, occasionally in England and more frequently in Ireland. Celtic literature and legend are full of references to these golden ornaments, and classical writers often make mention of them.

The simplest types of gold ornaments discovered in England are rings formed of a rounded bar of equal thickness throughout, bent into a circular form, and the extremities left disunited. Their material is gold, so pure and flexible that the rings can be easily opened to be linked into a chain or strung upon a thin gold wire. They were very probably employed for barter, and are generally known as "ring-money." Other rings, crescent-shaped, with ends tapering towards their extremities, may have served both as ornaments and substitutes for money. Others, again, are of gold wire shaped into a sort of rope, or else formed of a simple bar twisted in an ornamental manner. It has been suggested that the simple penannular rings were nose-ornaments, and when linked or strung together were worn as necklaces; also that the more decorative rings were earrings. But it is quite impossible to determine their actual use as personal ornaments.

Massive torques employed by the Celts for the purpose of adorning the neck are occasionally found of pure gold. They consist of a long piece of metal {41} twisted and turned into the form of a circle, with its ends either terminating in a knob, or doubled back in the form of a short hook, or swelling out into cup-like terminations. Some are formed of a square bar of gold twisted spirally, others of a flat bar twisted in a lighter manner, or of more than one bar twisted together.

PLATE X

image prehistoric gold ornaments of the british isles

Gold ornaments for the arms, known by the term armillæ, are sometimes of the same thickness throughout. It is more usual to find them plain, though twisted work was also applied to them. The majority have dilated ends, or ends slightly concave. With others, again, these cavities assume the form of a cup so expanded as to present the appearance of a trumpet or the calyx of a large flower. On ornaments somewhat resembling the latter the dilated extremities are flat plates, while the connecting part, diminutive in proportion to their exaggerated size, is striated longitudinally. These objects are usually described as dress-fasteners, but the exact purpose for which they were employed is still a matter of doubt.

Advanced skill in the art of enamelling is one of the most notable features of the Late Celtic period, which itself extended from the prehistoric Age of Iron and over the period of the Roman occupation. This enamel, executed by the champlevé process on copper and bronze, served for the decoration of massive bronze penannular bracelets, and for bronze pins with wheel-shaped heads. In addition to brooches—all of the safety-pin type—of an immense variety of design, other primitive bronze ornaments, usually of the spiral form characteristic of Celtic work, include torques, armlets, and anklets. The torques are mostly penannular and have enlarged terminals; the armlets are often complete rings.

For the most extensive representation of the prehistoric gold ornaments of the British Isles one must look, not to England whose inhabitants generally assumed the types of ornament in use among their Roman conquerors, but to Ireland, where the Celtic traditions were continued, and which has revealed vast hoards of golden treasure. In Celtic England during the {42} Bronze and Early Iron Ages the majority of personal ornaments are of bronze; in Ireland, however, at the same periods the greater number are of gold. The objects belonging to the Royal Irish Academy in the Dublin Museum—perhaps the largest collection in Europe of prehistoric gold ornaments—represent merely a fraction of what, during the last few hundred years, has been discovered and consigned to the crucible.

Usually described as head-ornaments are certain crescent or moon-shaped plates of thin gold, generally decorated with engraved designs in parallel lines, with angular lines between them, and having their extremities formed into small flat circular discs. These gold lunettes or lunulæ are considered to have been worn upright on the head and held in position by the terminal plates set behind the ears,[7] but they were very probably worn round the neck. The finest at Dublin is of pure gold, weighing upwards of sixteen ounces, and is richly ornamented with rows of conical studs.

Torques are the most frequent of ancient Irish ornaments. The largest known, over 5 feet long and upwards of 27 ounces in weight, is supposed to have been worn over the shoulder and across the breast. It is the property of the Royal Irish Academy. In addition to torques and gorgets, neck-ornaments were also formed of beads of gold, and some of these have been found accompanied by beads of amber. Besides torque-shaped armlets, are bracelets composed of perfect rings; but the penannular type, terminating mostly with bulbous or cup-like ends, is commonest.

A considerable number of the prehistoric dress-fasteners, known as mammillary fibulæ, have been discovered in Ireland. A slight enlargement of the ends of the penannular ring develops into a cup-like expansion, {43} which increases to such a size that the ring becomes simply the connecting link between the terminations. The latter when flat are generally plain, and when cup-shaped are often highly ornamented. The finest of these fibulæ at Dublin is 8⅜ inches long, and is of the extraordinary weight of 33 ounces.

Among other gold ornaments are certain circular flat plates of thin gold, usually about 2¼ inches in diameter, somewhat similar to the plates discovered at Mycenæ, in that they were evidently employed for sewing upon the dress. In the middle of the plates are small holes as if for attachment. As regards "ring-money," and similar rings employed possibly as ornaments for the ears or fingers, nothing more need be said, as they usually follow the designs of those in use among the Celts of Britain.

In a country like Ireland, which is famed for its golden treasures, many strange stories of discoveries have been recorded, yet few have excited greater interest than the now famous Limavady treasure, which in the year 1896 was ploughed up at Broighter, near Limavady, in the county of Londonderry, in a field not far from the shores of Lough Foyle. This hoard—probably the most important which has ever been unearthed of objects of this period—has been fully described by Dr. A. J. Evans in Vol. LV of Archæologia. It includes the following personal ornaments: two gold chains, a torque formed of thick twisted wires, and collar of very remarkable workmanship. This collar consists of a hollow cylinder formed of two plates soldered together, and fastened at the end by a T-shaped projection and slot. The ornament is repoussé work, in the trumpet pattern of the Late Celtic period. The style of work upon these ornaments, particularly that of the collar, associates them with an artistic period which probably dates from the first century a.d.

{44} The year following its discovery the whole find was purchased by the British Museum, where its presence at once figured as "another injustice to Ireland"; while through the Press and in Parliament numerous attempts were made to obtain its removal to Dublin. The Irish claimed it as treasure-trove and maintained that its legal home was the National Museum at Dublin. The British Museum authorities replied that Dublin had missed an opportunity of obtaining it in open market, while they themselves, having acquired it in the ordinary course of business, were precluded by statute from parting with it. They further contended that the ornaments were not necessarily of Irish workmanship, but might with equal likelihood have been produced in Britain. Thus for several years the dispute dragged on, until in the summer of 1903 the case came up in the Chancery Division of the Courts of Law (Attorney-General v. Trustees of British Museum. The Times Law Reports, XIX, p. 555.) Notwithstanding the ingenious defence of the British Museum, judgment was given that the ornaments were treasure-trove, and by virtue of the Prerogative Royal must be surrendered to the King. They were accordingly delivered to the Crown authorities and presented to the Irish National Museum by His Majesty.

 

ROMANO-BRITISH

Whatever races settled under the banner of Rome, they accepted unreservedly its ornaments, dress and manners, as well as its language and its laws. Hence the jewellery which dates from the Roman occupation of Britain (i.e. from about 43 a.d. to about 410 a.d.) follows for the most part the Italian designs, and at the same time differs but little from that brought to light among the remains of Roman colonisation elsewhere.

The majority of Romano-British personal ornaments {45} are of bronze—in most cases probably once gilt. Comparatively few objects of gold have been found. Among the articles of female adornment that occur in the greatest abundance are pins, which were used for fixing the hair in a knot behind the head, though some may have been employed as dress-pins. They range from 3 to 9 inches in length, and have heads of various designs, terminating in some instances in a bust or in a figure. The majority are of bone, many are of bronze, and a few are composed of coloured glass or jet.

A few necklaces of gold and bronze have been found, but by far the greater number appear to have been composed of beads of glass—in the manufacture of which the Romans displayed remarkable skill. These necklaces differ considerably in form and colour. The commonest beads are spherical and pierced with a large hole. They are usually of one colour, generally blue, but some are of compound colours exquisitely blended, and a few have a serpentine ornament fused into the glass. Beads of amber, pearls, and glazed earthenware have also been found.

A characteristic of Roman jewels executed in Britain is their ornamentation with enamels. The metal employed is generally bronze, the surface of which is ornamented by the champlevé process; that is to say, it is incised or grooved out (though sometimes stamped or cast) in such a manner as to leave floral or geometrical patterns in relief, and into the sunk spaces thus formed are fused opaque enamels, principally red, yellow, green, blue, and white.

This enamelling is generally found upon brooches both of the circular and of the bow-shaped type. The fronts of the circular brooches are flat, or raised like a shield into several compartments of different colours. The pin, which is hidden, moves freely on a pivot, and its point is held by a catch. The finest specimen, discovered in London, was formerly in the collection of {46} Lord Hastings, from whom it was acquired by the British Museum. It is a circular flat plaque, the pattern on which consists of four quatrefoils with blue centres on a red ground, and four small circles of yellow enamel between them. In the centre is the revolving figure of a dolphin (Pl. XI, 7). Brooches enamelled in a somewhat similar manner have been found in France at Mont Beuvray, near Autun, and are preserved in the Musée des Antiquités Nationales at St. Germain.[8]

Quite different are certain ornaments set with slices cut from rods of millefiori glass, which were executed for the most part during the decline of the Roman power. One of the most elaborate is a brooch found at Pont-y-Saison, near Chepstow, Monmouthshire, in 1861, and preserved among other Romano-British antiquities in the British Museum. It has an elaborate pattern of chequered squares of red, white, and blue (Pl. XI, 6). Brooches of the Gallo-Roman and early Merovingian period appear to have been also decorated in this manner.

Of bow-shaped brooches, or fibulæ, there exists a considerable number of varieties. Among these we may distinguish the T-shaped fibula with long cylindrical head, and a wide flat bow with sunk designs filled with enamel. In another variety the bow passes through a horizontal disc in its centre and assumes a form resembling a tassel. Another common variety is the crossbow form, either with a spiral or hinged head. In many Roman fibulæ the pin works on a hinge, but in the variety known as the harp-shaped, the sheath of the pin is filled in with a triangular plate, pierced or solid, and the head is slightly expanded to suit the coils of a spring.

In addition to the more formal types of brooches, {47} many fancy devices, probably of Celtic origin, appear to have been in vogue among the Roman colonists of Great Britain. These are in the shape of birds, fish, and all kinds of animals, brilliant with various coloured enamels, which are often so disposed as to indicate the spots or markings of the animals. A remarkable series of brooches of this kind is in the possession of Sir John Evans.

Bracelets and armlets, usually of bronze, have survived in large numbers. They consist generally of a simple narrow ring, such as could be slipped over the wrist. Some are pennanular with tapering ends, others are closed with a hook and eye, while a few have their ends so twisted together that they can slide over one another and so be taken on and off. Armlets of glass, chiefly of a deep transparent blue, have also been found.

Most of the varieties of finger rings already recorded appear to have been worn in Britain. The extent of the Roman civilisation can be measured by the number of engraved stones enclosed in their settings or found apart, the majority of which must have been executed by lapidaries on the spot.

Many articles, such as rings, armlets, beads, buttons, and amulets, were formed of jet or Kimmeridge shale, turned on a lathe. In the Island of Purbeck round flat pieces of jet have been found pierced with holes, which are clearly refuse pieces of the turner—the nuclei of rings and other articles. This material appears to be the same as that termed by Pliny gigates. According to him, it was supposed to possess the virtue of driving away serpents; and personal ornaments made of it were particularly prized. There seems little doubt that the use of ornaments of Kimmeridge coal or shale by the Romano-Britons was nothing more than a survival of the Neolithic or Stone Age. "Great Britain," writes M. Fontenay in 1887, with reference to {48} the ancient practice of wearing ornaments of jet, "remains faithful to its early customs; for at the present day English ladies delight in adorning themselves with jet jewellery." Fashion changes rapidly, but it will be long, one hopes, before it again decrees the general use of ornaments of this unattractive material.


{49}

CHAPTER VII

BARBARIC JEWELLERY OF EUROPE
(THE GREAT MIGRATIONS)

DURING the period of the great migrations, when hordes of barbarians swept like waves across Europe over the tracks of Roman civilisation, all traces of classical art rapidly vanished, save in Constantinople, which remained, as it were, a corner of the antique world. The forms of classical jewellery in natural course either totally disappeared or underwent a complete transformation, and there appeared instead a new process for the decoration of personal ornament, which in earlier times was practically unknown, save to the goldsmiths of ancient Egypt.

Just as the desire to imitate precious stones led to the introduction of enamel, so the Gothic nations who hailed from the south-east corner of Europe brought into jewellery the Oriental love for colour. Coloured stones, usually garnets, or red glass, cut in slices, were inlaid on a metal surface, or were placed side by side, separated only by intervening strips of metal. This process of inlay or incrustation is of great importance, since almost every species of jewellery in Europe from the third till about the eighth century is thus decorated.

The Goths invented no new jewellery, but adapted a style which had long been in existence. And though the forms of their jewellery may be due to the growth {50} of local traditions, its decoration is clearly the result of influences connected in some way with the East. Originating, as it doubtless did, in Persia or in the further East, this process of inlay was adopted by the Gothic nations during the earlier centuries of the Christian era, and made its first appearance among them in the districts of the Caucasus and in the Crimea. From thence it passed to the Lombards in Italy, to the Burgundians in Austria and Switzerland, the Visigoths in Spain, the Merovingians in Gaul, the earlier Scandinavians in Denmark; and by the Saxon tribes in Northern Germany it was carried to England, where it attained its highest perfection in the superb circular brooches that have been brought to light in Kent.

By the discovery of specimens of Asiatic and Germanic jewellery ornamented in this manner, the path of the migratory tribes can thus be traced right across the Continent. Yet for the reason that conditions of property and nationality became altered from one generation to another, the question to which of the nations numerous pieces of jewellery are to be ascribed, is difficult to solve. They are often connected with misunderstood Hellenistic and Asiatic traditions, while at the same time showing workmanship with barbaric ideas of form.

There are, as has been pointed out,[9] two very distinct forms of inlay, one of which is possibly the outcome of the other. One has been termed plate inlaying, the other cloisonné inlaying. The first is represented in the east of Europe by the fibulæ and gorget in the celebrated treasure of Petrossa, and in the west by the crown of Svinthila in the equally famous treasure of Guarrazar. In these objects a gold plate is pierced, and into the holes thus formed stones are fixed by mastic, and supported from behind by a second plate of gold. This form of inlaying seems to {51} merge naturally into the other, for at a certain point it may have occurred to the goldsmith to abandon the continuous upper sheet of metal and to cut it into strips to be placed edgewise between the stones. Thus appeared the second form of inlaying, in the cloisonné manner. It is represented in its journey from the East by the "Oxus treasure." In Europe it is illustrated by numerous specimens of Teutonic jewellery from Southern Europe, by the ornaments discovered in the tomb of Childeric I, and finally by the splendid Anglo-Saxon jewellery from the Kentish cemeteries. Numbers of articles of jewellery dating from the fifth century until the general introduction of Christianity have been discovered in various localities in Europe. But the above-mentioned hoards of treasure demand special consideration, as being, not only the most characteristic examples of the methods of inlay, but also types of the utmost luxury of the period in the way of personal ornaments. Beyond these no general account of European jewellery need here be given, since excavations in the Anglo-Saxon graves have revealed examples of jewellery which may be taken as fairly representative of the articles then in use upon the Continent as well.

A description may now be given of some of the principal and most typical of these European treasure-hoards, dating from what are known as the "Dark Ages." But attention must first be drawn to the important Asiatic treasure found near the River Oxus, in Bactria, in 1877. This "Oxus treasure,"[10] belonging for the most part to the fourth century b.c., seems to supply the missing link in the chain of evidence which unites the ornamentation of European jewellery with clearly defined Oriental methods. The chief articles of jewellery in the hoard are two massive penannular bracelets of gold, one in the British Museum, the other {52} at South Kensington. They are ornamented at each end with a winged monster or gryphon in full relief. The surface of the wings and necks of the figures is covered with gold cloisons, once set with coloured stones or pastes. The form and decoration of these and the other articles of the treasure in the Franks Bequest in the British Museum seem to indicate the Persian origin of this inlaid work.

The "treasure of Petrossa," dating from the fourth century a.d., contains some of the earliest examples of inlaid jewellery in Europe. Few treasures of which record has been preserved are equal to it in archæological interest. It was discovered in 1837 by peasants on the banks of a tributary of the Danube, near the village of Petrossa, about sixty miles from Bucharest. Much of it was broken up shortly after its discovery. What remained was seized by the Government and conveyed to the Museum of Antiquities at Bucharest, where it is now preserved. The treasure includes a gold torque with hooked ends, like the Celtic torques from the British Isles; a crescent-shaped collar or gorget of gold with its surface pierced in the manner of plate inlay, and set with garnets and other stones; three bird-shaped fibulæ; and a larger ornament, also in the shape of a bird, intended probably as a breast-plate. The heads and necks of the birds are inlaid in the cloisonné manner; their lower parts are ornamented with plate inlay.[11]

Dating from the Merovingian period are the treasures of King Childeric I in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris. The founder of the Merovingian dynasty died in 481, and was buried at Tournai, in Languedoc, surrounded by his treasures and robes of state. In the {53} year 1653, when all memory of the place of his interment had perished, a labourer accidentally uncovered the royal grave and brought to light the treasure it contained. The regalia consisted of a sword, a bracelet, fibulæ, buckles, about three hundred gold bees—the decoration of a mantle—and a signet-ring of gold. This ring was not set with a gem, but had its oval gold bezel engraved with a full-faced bust holding a spear. It bore the legend childirici regis. On the night of November 5, 1831, the Bibliothèque was broken into by burglars. An alarm being given, they fled, and threw their spoil, which included, amongst other objects, Childeric's regalia, into the Seine. The river was dredged, and a great part of the treasure was recovered. The ring, however, was never found; but its design is preserved in Chiflet's Anastasis Childerici I, while the signet itself has been reconstructed from an impression of the seal in wax, found in the Bodleian Library in a copy of Chiflet's work, once the property of the great antiquary, Francis Douce. Except on this jewel, the traditional surface decoration of Teutonic jewellery is admirably represented. Every item of the treasure is inlaid with thin slices of garnet or red glass, arranged in the cloisonné manner between gold partitions.[12]

The most wonderful, probably, of all treasures-trove is the famous "treasure of Guarrazar," discovered in 1858 at a place called La Fuente de Guarrazar, near Toledo.[13] It included eleven crowns of pure gold set with precious stones. The peasants who unearthed the treasure broke up the crowns and divided the spoil. But the story of the discovery became known; and having been pieced together, most of the crowns were conveyed to the Musée Cluny at Paris, and the remainder placed in the Real Armería at Madrid. The {54} most important of those at Madrid is the crown of King Svinthila (621-631). Its surface is pierced with holes arranged in rose-shaped patterns, and set with large pearls and cabochon sapphires. From the lower rim hangs a fringe of letters set in the cloisonné manner with red glass paste, suspended by chains. The letters form the inscription svintilanus rex offeret. The chief crown in the treasure at Paris is that of King Reccesvinthus (649-672). It consists of a broad circle of gold, 8 inches in diameter, mounted with thirty huge Oriental pearls and thirty large sapphires, all set in high collets and separated by pierced open-work. The margins are bands of cloisonné work with inlays of red glass. Suspended below by twenty-four chains are letters of gold inlaid like the borders forming the words reccesvinthus rex offeret. Attached to each letter is a square collet hung with a pear-shaped sapphire. The crown is suspended by four chains from a foliated ornament encircled with pendent pearls and sapphires, and surmounted by a capital of rock crystal. A massive cross 4¼ inches long and 2½ inches wide hangs below the crown. It is set with eight enormous pearls and six large and brilliant sapphires, the latter mounted in high open bezels. From its foot and limbs hang three paste imitations of emeralds, with pear-shaped sapphires below. The combination of the pure gold with the violet sapphires and the somewhat faded lustre of the pearls produces an exceedingly harmonious effect of colour.

The majority of these crowns were votive offerings to a church, to be hung above the altar; the larger ones may have been actually used at coronations, and afterwards suspended in some consecrated building and the dedicatory inscriptions attached in remembrance of the ceremony. They certainly appear to be native work {55} of the Spanish Visigoths, executed under the influence of the style prevailing in the Eastern Empire. At a date not long after their production, the use of this particular species of decoration of jewellery, owing probably to the revival of the art of enamelling, rapidly declined in western Europe; and though it continued to be practised in the East, it had virtually disappeared at the close of the Merovingian period—by about the year 800, when Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the West.


{56}

CHAPTER VIII

ANGLO-SAXON JEWELLERY (FIFTH TO SEVENTH CENTURY)—
MEROVINGIAN JEWELLERY

UPON the invasion of Britain by the Teutonic races in the fifth century personal ornaments lost their Roman character, and assumed a peculiar type which betrays the impress of a fresh nationality on design and workmanship.

A near alliance by origin and geographical position existed between the Jutes, Angles, and other kindred tribes commonly known as the Saxons, who settled in Britain, and the Franks, who stationed themselves in Gaul. The ornaments of all these tribes bear on this account a close similarity. Hence Anglo-Saxon jewels may for the most part be taken as representative of all the rest; and the only contemporary Merovingian ornaments to be noticed will be those that differ from the Anglo-Saxon types.

In England as well as in France this remarkable group of jewellery belongs to the period which immediately followed the extinction of the Roman power in both countries, and extends from the fifth to the middle of the seventh century. Personal ornaments in England were the last in Europe to receive a characteristic species of surface decoration: for Kent and the Isle of Wight form the extreme limit of the geographical area in which jewellery ornamented with cloisonné inlay has been found. The process attained here the highest point of excellence.

{57} Anglo-Saxon jewellery occupies an exceedingly important position in the history of the goldsmith's art. Its beauty lies in its delicate goldwork and peculiarly harmonious blending of colours. So remarkable is the fertility of fancy with which each jewel is adorned, that scarcely any two are exactly identical in ornamentation. However complicated the system of knotwork, and however frequently the same form might require filling in, each workman appears to have been eager to express his own individuality, and to originate some fresh method of treatment or new variety of design.

In common with other Teutonic nations, the Anglo-Saxons were peculiarly fond of personal ornaments. They held in high esteem both the smith—the producer of weapons—and the goldsmith who manufactured the rings and bracelets employed as rewards of valour. A passage in the "Exeter Book," which dilates on the various stations in life and the capacities required for them, refers thus to the goldsmith: "For one a wondrous skill in goldsmith's art is provided: full oft he decorates and well adorns a powerful king's nobles, and he to him gives broad land in recompense."

The graves or barrows of our Anglo-Saxon ancestors have proved singularly prolific in personal ornaments. Extensive cemeteries have been discovered in the midland, eastern and southern counties, and particularly upon the downs of Kent, Sussex, and the Isle of Wight. The barrows of Kent have revealed personal ornaments of greater wealth and refinement than those of any other parts.

The majority of Anglo-Saxon pins were no doubt employed for fastening up the hair. They often have as a head the figure of a bird or grotesque animal, ornamented with garnets, like similar pins from the Continent. One of the best, which comes from the Faversham graves in Kent, is in the Gibbs Bequest, now in the British Museum. It is of silver, formerly gilt; {58} its upper part is flat and in the form of a bird set with cut garnets. Gothic tribes had a great predilection for the bird as a decorative subject.[14]

A certain number of earrings have been found, but they are not common. They are generally a ring of silver wire, plain, or twisted into a spiral form, and hung sometimes with beads of coloured glass or clay. The earrings worn by the Franks during the contemporary Merovingian period are of a type unrepresented in Anglo-Saxon jewellery. They differ in size, but are nearly all of the same pattern, and have a plain hoop. One end is pointed to pierce the ear, and on the other end is a polygonal metal cube, each side of which is set with a slice of garnet or red glass.

Anglo-Saxon necklaces are composed of beads of many varieties. The commonest, of glass, of numerous colours and shapes, are very similar to the Roman beads. Beads of amethystine quartz, probably of Transylvanian or German origin, and particularly beads of amber from the Baltic, are found strung on necklaces, or were hung singly from the neck. When one remembers the superstitious respect which was universally paid to precious stones, and especially to amber, in early times, it is probable that these were regarded as amulets. The more sumptuous necklaces, which must have been worn by ladies of rank, are composed of gold beads or of precious stones in delicate settings of twisted or beaded gold.

The pendent ornaments hung to the necklaces are very beautiful. Some are formed of large, finely coloured garnets cut into triangle or pear shapes and mounted in gold. Others, generally circular, are of pure gold worked in interlaced or vermiculated patterns and set with precious stones. A striking group of pendants is formed of coins of foreign origin, {59} Roman or Byzantine, or rude copies of them made in England by Anglo-Saxon goldsmiths. In the British Museum is an elaborate necklace of glass and terra-cotta beads with pendent gold coins of the seventh century, which was found, together with a splendid brooch, at Sarre, in Kent. Three of the pendants are coins of Emperors of the East—Mauricius and Heraclius—and the fourth is a coin of Chlotaire II of France. The central pendant, also circular, is ornamented with a section from a rod of Roman millefiori glass set in gold.

Besides coins—the frequent use of which in late Roman jewellery has already been noticed—there exists a well-known class of personal ornaments known as nummi bracteati, bracteate coins, and sometimes as "spangle money." They are thin discs of metal stamped in a die, so that the design appears in relief on the face and incuse on the back. They are generally of gold, have a beaded edging, and are supplied with loops, also of gold, for suspension.

Fibulæ or brooches are the most numerous of all Anglo-Saxon ornaments. They are remarkable both for their beauty and their excellence of workmanship. Probably more than one was usually worn; and four or five have been found in the same grave on different parts of the body. The different types of brooches from various districts of England are sufficiently clearly marked to permit their classification as the ornaments of distinct peoples. For the present purpose it is convenient to divide them into three main classes, each class consisting, naturally, of many varieties. (1) Circular jewelled brooches found among the remains of the Kentish Saxons, and of the Jutes of the Isle of Wight. (2) Brooches of the sunk or concave circular type worn by the Saxons of Berks, Oxford, and Gloucestershire. (3) Cruciform brooches—a type of the elongated form of brooch. They are {60} peculiar to the Angles who formed the population of Mercia, East Anglia, and Northumbria.

(1) The circular jewelled brooches found in the cemeteries of Kent and sometimes in the Isle of Wight, but scarcely ever in other parts of England, may be subdivided again into three classes. The first of these, and the most numerous, is composed of a single piece of metal decorated with chased work and set with jewels. The second group comprises those formed of a disc of bronze or silver, decorated with a disc of gold foil covered with inlaid cells forming triangles and circles, with three bosses grouped round a central boss. This type is rarer than the first, and is often of great beauty. The third group, the finest and rarest, is distinguished by being formed of two plates of metal joined by a band round the edges, the upper part being prepared in the cloisonné manner for the reception of stones or pastes, while the pin or acus is fixed to the lower. Brooches of this type, in which the stones, mostly garnets, are set upon hatched gold foil between delicate gold cloisons, represent at its utmost perfection the process of inlaying already described. Three of the finest circular jewelled brooches are: the Kingston brooch in the Mayer Collection at Liverpool, the Abingdon brooch in the Ashmolean Museum, and the Sarre brooch in the British Museum. The first, which is certainly the most beautiful, is 3316 inches in diameter. The front is divided into compartments subdivided into cells of various forms, enriched with vermicular gold, with turquoises and with garnets laid upon gold foil. Concentric circles which surround a central boss are treated alternately in coloured stones and worked gold.[15] The Abingdon brooch is divided into four compartments, each decorated with interlaced gold wire, and mounted with a boss of ivory, horn or shell, with a fifth boss in the centre of the brooch. The {61} rest of the ground is decorated with garnets upon hatched gold foil.[16] The Sarre brooch, 2⅝ inches in width, is ornamented in a similar manner, and has a large central and four smaller bosses composed of a substance resembling ivory, set with carbuncles[17] (Pl. XI, 1).

PLATE XI

image anglo-saxon and romano-british brooches, etc.

(2) The next main class of brooches comprises the concave circular, known also as the cupelliform or saucer-shaped, found in the West Saxon cemeteries. They are of bronze or copper, thickly gilt, and very rarely decorated with jewels. They have a plain edge, and a centre covered with interlaced and other ornamental patterns.

(3) Cruciform brooches form the last and most widely distributed group. They have trefoil or cruciform tops; but must not be held to have any connection with Christianity because they approach the form of a cross, for they are found in purely pagan graves. Some varieties are found in other parts of England besides Mercia, East Anglia, and Northumbria, but they are rare in Kent. These cruciform Anglian brooches are of cast bronze, generally gilt, but sometimes plated with silver. They are often of enormous size, and covered with rude and elaborate patterns such as are found upon early Scandinavian objects. Since the patterns were added after the brooches were cast, it happens that, though forms are frequently identical, decorations differ on nearly every specimen. With the rarest exception, they are never garnished with precious stones. This kind of brooch appears to have been evolved about the fourth century.

There are other brooches somewhat of the same form, but not usually found in England. Amongst these is a type which, instead of having a trefoil ornament at the {62} top, is square-headed. Though not unknown in France and Germany, brooches of this design are chiefly Scandinavian. An important series of both of the types last mentioned is preserved in the British Museum; while the fine collection belonging to Sir John Evans contains many splendid specimens.

Another variety is known as the "radiated" brooch, from the fact that its upper part, which is rectangular or semicircular, is ornamented with obtuse rays. The finest example of this type, and the largest known (it measures 6¼ inches), is in the Bavarian National Museum at Munich. It dates from about the sixth century; and was found in a rock tomb near Wittislingen on the Danube in 1881. It is silver, gilt upon the upper side, enriched with a cloisonné inlay of garnets in a variety of patterns, and further ornamented with interlaced gold filigree (Pl. XII, 7). A Latin inscription on the under side contains the name uffila. Radiated brooches, which Mr. Roach Smith[18] considers to be prior in point of date to all other Anglo-Saxon types, extend over the greater part of Europe. But they are rare in England, though a few have been found in Kent and are preserved among the Gibbs Bequest.

There is yet another type of Anglo-Saxon brooch, annular in shape. It consists of a plain ring, with a pin travelling round it attached to a small cylinder. This annular brooch is comparatively rare in Saxon times. Its interest lies in the fact that it is the parent of a much more important brooch worn throughout the Middle Ages.

In common with all primitive peoples, the Saxons held rings in less esteem than other ornaments. The few that have been found are simple bronze hoops. Rings were more frequent, however, among the Merovingians. The chief feature in Merovingian rings, which are often of gold, is that the bezel is for the {63} most part large and circular. It is either roughly engraved in the manner of Childeric's signet, or else is ornamented with cloisonné inlay. Other rings have a high projecting bezel.

PLATE XII

image anglo-saxon and frankish jewellery
(5th-7th centuries)

Buckles of gold, silver, and bronze, used to fasten the belt or girdle, or employed on some other part of the dress, are particularly abundant in Kentish graves. They vary considerably, many being of particularly good design, set with garnets and ornamented with gold filigree. The largest examples can be assigned to the girdles of men, the smallest and richest to those of women. Some of the best are in the Gibbs Bequest.

One of the finest examples of Anglo-Saxon jewellery is the magnificent gold buckle discovered in a grave near Taplow, Bucks, and now in the British Museum. The base of the tongue and the oval ring are inlaid with glass pastes upon gold foil; while the buckle plate, enriched with three garnets, is bordered with many graduated rows of finely twisted gold wire, and has its centre filled with a sort of vermiculated pattern upon repoussé ground (Pl. XII, 6).

Women's graves have generally yielded a number of objects of personal use as well as of adornment. Articles of toilet, such as tweezers, etc., are found by the side of the skeleton, and resemble the modern chatelaine. There exist, in addition, curious bronze pendants sometimes shaped like a pot-hook, which, found in pairs near the waists of female skeletons, are known generally as girdle-hangers. Their exact purpose was for a long time a mystery, but archæologists are now mostly of the opinion that they were fastenings for bags or purses suspended from the girdle.

With the exception of the brooch-pin, which is always made of iron, Anglo-Saxon jewellery is almost invariably composed of gold, silver, or of some alloy, {64} and is very rarely of iron like the buckles found in the Frankish cemeteries. These iron buckles, owing to the perishable nature of their material are often much disfigured by rust, but many are sufficiently well preserved to exhibit a beautiful and elaborate inlay of silver, sometimes accompanied by gold. Many examples of them are preserved in the museums of France and Germany. Some are of extraordinary size. The buckle and plate alone of one in the museum at Berne measures no less than 8⅝ by 4½ inches and half an inch in thickness. Buckles of this kind have never been found in England.


{65}

CHAPTER IX

LATE ANGLO-SAXON JEWELLERY (SEVENTH TO NINTH CENTURY)

AFTER the landing of St. Augustine in 597 and the baptism of Ethelbert, King of Kent, the conversion of the upper classes in England appears to have been rapid, and by the third decade of the seventh century the greater part of the country had accepted Christianity. Old customs, however, with regard to burial and the adornment of the corpse, were slow in disappearing, and even as late as the time of Charlemagne (742-814) we hear of orders being issued that the Saxons were no longer to follow the pagan mode of burial, but to inter their dead in consecrated ground.

The general abandonment of the custom of burying ornaments with the dead is responsible for the small number of the later Anglo-Saxon jewels now extant. But the few examples surviving from the period which terminated at the Norman Conquest are of exceptional merit.

There can be no doubt that the introduction of Christianity produced a profound change in the character of personal ornaments. New forms and methods, due to closer association with the Continent, were introduced into the goldsmith's productions by the Church, which at the same time fostered the splendid traditions of the older English jewellers.

{66} The characteristic of the finest pieces of Saxon jewellery of the Christian period is their ornamentation by means of cloisonné enamel. It has already been noticed that Anglo-Saxon jewels were decorated with gold wires, some twisted or beaded, or rolled up and plaited together, and soldered on to a thin gold plate; while others were flattened into strips forming compartments, which were filled with pieces of garnet or coloured glass cut to shape. When the spaces between strips, so disposed as to make up the outlines of figures or ornament, were filled with enamel paste and fired, the result was enamel of the cloisonné type. This cloisonné enamel naturally resulted as soon as the Saxon jeweller had mastered the art of fusing vitreous colours upon metal. From whom did he learn this art? Was enamelling introduced by the followers of Augustine from Rome or Byzantium, or did the Irish missionaries bring afresh into England an art of which the Celts were past masters? The question is one that cannot be answered; but it is not without interest to note the great influence of the Irish craftsmen on the art productions of the time.

A remarkable development of goldsmiths' work in Ireland succeeded the introduction of Christianity. Enamel was largely employed in the decoration of early objects of ecclesiastical metal-work, and attained perfection in the translucent cloisonné enamel of the Tara brooch and the Ardagh chalice. The far-reaching influence and extraordinary activity of the Irish missionaries, many of them no doubt skilled goldsmiths, are well known. "Irish missionaries laboured among the Picts of the Highlands and among the Frisians of the northern seas. An Irish missionary, Columban, founded monasteries in Burgundy and the Apennines. The canton of St. Gall still commemorates in its name another Irish missionary."[19] The processes of their artistic metal-work {67} must have made themselves felt wherever these Irish missionaries penetrated. The wandering scholars and artists of Ireland left both their books and their art-apprentices in England, as they had left them along the Rhine and the Danube. At Glastonbury, St. Dunstan, the patron saint of English smiths, lingered as a youth among the books with which the Irish missionaries had endowed the monastery, and associated doubtless with the monastic craftsmen who had learned the arts of their Celtic predecessors.

Every priest was trained in some handicraft, and many monks became excellent goldsmiths. St. Dunstan (924-988), like St. Eloi of France (588-659), at once a goldsmith and a royal minister, himself worked in the precious metals; and he appears to have been a jeweller as well, for we find in old inventories, entries of finger rings described as the productions of the great prelate. In the Wardrobe Account of Edward I, in 1299 (Liber Quotidianus, p. 348), is "Unus anulus auri cum saphiro qui fuit de fabrica Sancti Dunstani ut credebatur"; and in the inventory of that mediæval fop, Piers Gaveston, 1313 (Rymer, Fœdera, II, i. p. 203), is: "Un anel d'or, à un saphir, lequel seint Dunstan forga de ses mayns."

The artistic traditions of the old Saxon jewellers became almost the sole property of the clergy; and the Venerable Bede, writing at the commencement of the eighth century, alluding to the monastic jewellers of his day, describes how "a skilled gold-worker, wishing to do some admirable work, collects, wherever he can, remarkable and precious stones to be placed among the gold and silver, as well to show his skill as for the beauty of the work." The description of these stones as "chiefly of a ruddy or aerial colour" would seem to indicate that garnets and turquoises had not even then been entirely supplanted by enamels. Certain it is that the earlier Christian jewels retained for a {68} time the technique of those of pagan Saxondom. For example, the gold cross of St. Cuthbert (d. 687), discovered in his tomb in Durham Cathedral in 1827 and now preserved in the Cathedral Library, is inlaid with garnets in the cloisonné manner (Pl. XIII, 3).

The internecine wars of the Saxons and the early ravages of the Norsemen, from which England was delivered by Alfred during the ninth century, can have left the country little repose for the cultivation of the jeweller's art. Yet, in spite of the unhappy condition of England, the art, judging from inscribed jewels noticed hereafter, was still practised, and needed only some presiding genius to awaken it to new life.

There is little reason to doubt that jewellery was among the foremost of the arts which Alfred is known to have encouraged; indeed, his interest in such work is asserted by a well-sustained tradition. And if the world-famed jewel to be described is, as seems probable, to be associated with Alfred of Wessex, he must then have personally supervised the production of other contemporary jewels. The Alfred jewel, the finest example left of Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship, and the most famous of all English jewels, is preserved in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. It was found in 1693 at Newton (or Petherton) Park, three miles from the Isle of Athelney, Somerset, whither Alfred had fled from the Danes in the year 878, and was presented to the museum in 1718 by Thomas Palmer, grandson of Colonel Nathaniel Palmer, near whose estate it was found. The jewel is 2 inches long, 1⅕ wide, and half an inch in thickness. It somewhat resembles a battledore in shape; it is flat front and back, while the other parts of its surface are rounded. The obverse is of rock crystal, beneath which is a plaque of semi-transparent cloisonné enamel of blue, white, green, and brown, representing the figure of a man. Upon the reverse is an engraved gold plate. The smaller end of the {69} oval is prolonged into the form of a boar's head, from the snout of which projects a hollow socket. Around the sloping sides of the jewel, from left to right, runs the legend aelfred mec heht gewyrcan (Alfred ordered me to be made), in gold letters, exquisitely chiselled in open-work upon the band which encircles the enamel and its crystal covering. The whole of the goldwork is beautifully executed in filigree and granulation (Pl. XIII, 1, 2).

PLATE XIII

image late anglo-saxon jewellery
(7th-9th centuries)

There is considerable doubt as to the actual use of this precious jewel. Professor Earle has placed it among the category of personal ornaments, and holds that it was executed under the personal supervision of Alfred the Great, and formed the central ornament of his helmet or crown.[20] The enamelled figure is probably intended for that of Christ, represented, as is frequently done in early ecclesiastical art, holding two sceptres. The gold setting of the jewel, it is generally agreed, was made in England, and in the opinion of many the enamel is of native origin.[21]

Somewhat similar in shape to the Alfred jewel, and probably employed for the same purpose, is a jewel known as the Minster Lovel jewel, which was found half a century ago in a village of that name near Oxford, and is now preserved in the Ashmolean Museum. It is 1¼ inches in length, circular above, with a projecting socket below. The upper part is ornamented with a cross-shaped design in cloisonné enamel.

Another remarkable jewel, preserved in the British Museum, is termed the Dowgate brooch, or the Roach Smith nouche (or brooch), in memory of the learned and energetic antiquary whose property it once was. {70} The brooch was found near Dowgate Hill in Thames Street, London, in 1839. It is composed of a circular enamel representing a full-faced head and bust, enclosed in a border of rich gold filigree covered with beaded ornament and set at equal distances with four pearls. The fine cloisons of the enamel work are arranged so as to mark the outlines of the face, a crown upon the head, and the folds of the drapery of a mantle or tunic. The dress is classical in appearance, and seems to be fastened on the right shoulder[22] (Pl. XIII, 4).

Two other enamelled brooches of the same kind of workmanship, also in the British Museum, are the Townley brooch, also known as the Hamilton brooch, which is said to have been found in Scotland, and the Castellani brooch, formerly in the collection of Signor Castellani, and stated to have been found at Canosa, Italy (Pl. IX, 9, 11).

The latter brooch is set with a circular enamel representing the bust of a royal personage wearing large earrings, and upon the front of the dress a circular brooch with three pendants hanging below it. At the lower part of the gold and enamel frame of the Castellani brooch itself are three loops, which must have held pendants exactly similar to those attached to the brooch worn by the enamelled figure. Pendants of this kind are represented, as has been seen, on the Ravenna mosaics, and appear to be characteristic of Byzantine brooches. And it is probable that this, as well as the Townley brooch, as explained in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries (2nd Series, Vol. XX, p. 64), is of Continental origin.

Though similar in some respects to the other enamelled jewels, these two brooches differ considerably from them. "These differences," says a recent writer, "seem to accentuate the difficulty of tracing the origin of this enamelled work. It may well be that some of {71} it was executed in this country by the craftsmen in the employ of King Alfred; but it may fairly be assumed that on the journeys to Rome and elsewhere, undertaken by Ethelwulf, Alfred, and Ethelswitha, they and their suites would acquire jewellery of this class, which must have been comparatively common in Rome, and in other important centres at that time."[23]

The rings dating from the time of pagan Saxondom are few and unimportant; those, on the other hand, that belong to this later period, though rare, are more numerous, and are of considerable historical and artistic interest. It is somewhat curious that the finest date almost exclusively from the ninth century, and that most of them are inscribed. It is to this fact, doubtless, that they owe their preservation.

No Anglo-Saxon rings, as far as we are aware, are ornamented with enamel. Many are enriched with inlays of niello. Gold rings thus inlaid sometimes have the appearance of having been enamelled, for the niello seems to have a bluish tinge, but this may be due, as Mr. Davenport suggests (Anglo-Saxon Review, Vol. V), to some optical effect caused by the yellow gold.

The most important inscribed Saxon rings, three in number, are historical relics of the highest order. They belonged respectively to Alhstan, Bishop of Sherborne (824-867); Ethelwulf, King of Wessex (836-858), father of Alfred the Great; and Ethelswith, Queen of Mercia, and sister to King Alfred.

The ring of Alhstan, at once the earliest episcopal finger ring and the first in chronological order of these inscribed gold rings, was found in 1753 at Llys-fæn, in the county of Carnarvonshire. It was one of the chief treasures of the famous collection of finger rings formed by the late Edmund Waterton, and is now {72} in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The initials of its owner are inscribed in niello upon four circular compartments, separated by four lozenge-shaped compartments also inlaid with niello (Pl. XIII, 9).

The most famous of all English rings—"une pièce excessivement précieuse," says M. Fontenay, "par son originalité et son caractère"—is that of Ethelwulf, King of Wessex. It is in the form of a bishop's mitre with only one peak, and bears the inscription inscriptio above which are two peacocks pecking at a tree. The legend and subject are reserved in gold upon a nielloed ground. The ring was picked up in its present bent condition in 1780 by a labourer in a field at Laverstoke, near Salisbury, where it had been pressed out of a cart-rut. It is now in the British Museum (Pl. XIII, 5).

The third of this remarkable series of inscribed rings is that of Ethelswith, Queen of Mercia, daughter of Ethelwulf. It has a circular bezel, in the middle of which is a rude representation of an Agnus Dei engraved in relief with a background of niello. The inner side of the bezel is incised with the inscription eathelsvith regna. This beautiful ring was found near Aberford, in Yorkshire, about the year 1870, and came into the possession of Sir A. W. Franks, who bequeathed it to the British Museum (Pl. XIII, 7).

Several other Saxon rings are preserved in the British Museum. Among them is one with a plain hoop and beaded edges, bearing around it in gold letters on a nielloed ground an inscription recording the name of the owner, Ethred, and the maker Eanred. It was found in Lancashire, and bequeathed to the museum by Sir Hans Sloane in 1753. Another ring (found near Peterborough in the River Nene) is peculiar for having two bezels opposite each other. Both sides of the hoop and each bezel are engraved with interlaced designs inlaid with niello. The bezels are each flanked {73} by three small beads of gold—a characteristic ornamentation of a certain class of Teutonic and Merovingian rings, termed by the French bagues à trois grains. In the Victoria and Albert Museum is a silver ring of unusual form. It has an oval bezel 1¼ inches in length, engraved with convoluted ornament in five divisions, the centre being filled with a serpent-headed monster. It was found in the Thames at Chelsea in 1856. A type of ring which occurs more than once is formed of a hoop, which widens gradually into a large oval bezel ornamented with bands of rich plaited goldwork. One of these rings, found at Bossington, near Stockbridge, is in the Ashmolean Museum. It has in the centre a male portrait surrounded by the inscription, nomen ehlla fid in xpo (My name is Ella; my faith is in Christ).

More remarkable, perhaps, than any of the above, on account of the peculiar beauty of its workmanship, is a gold ring in the possession of Lord Fitzhardinge, and preserved, together with the Hunsdon jewels, at Berkeley Castle. It has a large bezel of quatrefoil form. In the centre is a raised circular boss ornamented with a cross or wheel-shaped design in beaded gold. Radiating from this centre are four heads of monsters, inlaid with thin lines of niello, and having projecting eyes formed of dots of dark blue and dark brown glass or enamel. The hoop of the ring, of considerable girth, is hexagonal in section. At the junction of its ends at the back of the bezel, immediately behind the monsters' ears, it is finished with a graduated wire of filigree, terminating with three small balls. The ring dates from about the tenth century. Nothing is known concerning its discovery. It is probably Saxon, but may be of Irish origin (Pl. XIII, 10).

Beyond these finger rings and the enamelled jewellery, we possess few other examples of later Saxon ornaments; yet there exist a small number, which, {74} though executed somewhat after the manner of the older jewels, probably belong to this later period of Saxon art. Among such ornaments is a necklace from Desborough, Northants, and now in the British Museum. It is formed of beads of spirally coiled gold wire. Circular pendants, having one side convex and the other flat, alternate with gold pendants of various shapes and sizes, set with garnets. From the centre of the necklace hangs a cross (Pl. XII, 1).

One other ornament in the British Museum, particularly worthy of attention, is a beautiful set of three ornamental pins of silver gilt, which were found in the River Witham, near Lincoln. The three pins have heads in the shape of circular discs, and are connected together by two oblong pieces of metal with a ring at each end. The pins average four inches in length. The interlaced ornament on their circular heads (described in detail in the Reliquary, 2nd Series, Vol. X, p. 52), is arranged in four panels separated by radial divisions.

The penannular brooch, known as the Celtic brooch, so common in other parts of the British Isles about this period, has rarely been found in England. A few examples occur in close proximity to undoubted Anglo-Saxon remains, but they are confined mostly to the north of England. Its extreme rarity leads one naturally to the conclusion that it found but little favour in England. In Scotland and Ireland, however, where it was almost universally worn, this type of brooch attained, as will shortly be shown, the highest degree of excellence both in design and workmanship.


{75}

CHAPTER X

THE CELTIC BROOCH

IN order to understand the condition of the arts in the more remote parts of the British Isles, subsequent to the introduction of Christianity towards the middle of the fifth century, one must remember the situation created by the invasions of the Teutonic tribes, whereby nearly the whole of northern and western Europe relapsed into paganism, while Ireland and the western highlands of Scotland alone remained faithful to the Christian Church. During the earlier centuries of this period, the designs and processes of the Celtic crafts, nurtured in these parts of the British Isles by the Church, undisturbed by invaders, and free from outside influences, were brought to a state of high perfection.

The introduction of Christianity into Ireland by St. Patrick, who doubtless brought with him European craftsmen, had greatly encouraged the production of metal-work; and though changes in design resulted, the spiral patterns characteristic of Celtic art were retained for a considerable length of time—longer in fact than in any other quarters. It is unfortunate, however, that while a number of objects of early Christian art from Ireland and the Scottish highlands have survived, there is scarcely a single article of jewellery which is prior in date to about the ninth century a.d.

The chief personal ornaments belonging to this later period, i.e. the ninth century onwards, are a number of remarkable objects known as Celtic brooches. The {76} Celtic brooch, as far as its origin and development are concerned, shows no kinship with the bow or disc-shaped brooches already described, though, like them, it probably originated among the primitive Celts of the Danubian region. One theory derives its evolution from what is known as a ring-pin, that is a simple pin, the head of which, primarily solid, was afterwards pierced and fitted with a ring, which in course of time increased in size and became highly ornamented. Another theory traces the Celtic brooch from a combination of a long pin with the ancient dress fasteners—penannular rings furnished with knobs—such as are found in prehistoric graves, and are even now worn by the natives of West Africa. This penannular brooch has been found not only in Scotland and Ireland, but as far east as Livonia, and is actually still in use in Algeria at the present day. Its peculiarity consists in the great size of its pin—one in the British Museum measures 22½ inches—the length of the pin being supposed to have corresponded to the rank of its owner.[24] In some of the earlier forms the ring is of the same breadth all round, and merely cut across in one place for the passage of the pin. But as a rule this penannular ring terminates in knobs, and when the pin which travels round the ring has pierced the portions of the garments it is intended to unite, the ring is pushed a little to one side and prevented by the terminal knobs from becoming unloosened.[25]

The developments in the form of this brooch show its evolution from a penannular to an annular ring. In some—probably the earliest—examples, the ring and the head of the pin terminate in bulbous knobs, or in spherical ends ornamented with Celtic designs and {77} animals' heads. In others the ends of the rings and the pin-heads are broadened, in order to provide space for an elaborate surface decoration of interlaced work and zoomorphic and anthropomorphic designs similar to those upon the Irish manuscripts. Finally, the opening is closed and the ring becomes annular.

The finest examples of these brooches are preserved in the museum of the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin, the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland in Edinburgh, and the British Museum. Among the earliest—which are not, however, prior to the later Anglo-Saxon period, and make their appearance about the ninth century—are those with a plain penannular ring, formed of a solid cylindrical rod of silver, terminating with bulbous knobs furnished with expansions, and often covered with a peculiar prickly ornamentation like thistle-heads. Specimens of this style of brooch have been found in Ireland, Scotland, and in the north of England.

The simplest of the silver penannular brooches with discoidal terminations in the museum at Edinburgh is one from Croy in Inverness-shire. It has ends expanding into circular discs with amber settings. The most elaborate, one of two known as the Cadboll brooches, found at Rogart in Sutherlandshire, has four raised heads of birds, two upon the circumference of each disc, and two upon the ring. The collection in the Royal Irish Academy contains several splendid brooches of a similar type, notably the Kilmainham brooch from Kilmainham, Co. Dublin, the surface of which is ornamented with compartments of thin plates of gold tooled with interlaced patterns.

The terminations of the penannular ring soon become so expanded that they fill up exactly half the ring. Upon these flattened plaques, which have just space enough between them for the pin to pass, a serpent {78} or dragon form is a frequent ornament, as well as the intertwined triple ornament, or triquetra, while the surface is set at intervals with bosses of amber. The most remarkable examples of this type are the University brooch in the collection of Trinity College, Dublin, and the Clarendon brooch found in Co. Kilkenny, and now in the museum of the Royal Irish Academy.

The main characteristic of the Celtic brooch is that it is penannular, that is, its ring has an opening, if not real, at least apparent, between its two ends. For even when the narrow opening left between the enlarged ends is closed by a bar, or is finally closed altogether, the flattened plaques are ornamentally treated as if they were still disunited. Of this class of brooches with continuous rings there have survived two world-famed examples, one from Ireland and the other from Scotland. The first of these, known as the Tara brooch, was found in 1850 on the seashore near Bettystown, Co. Louth, and received the title of "Tara" on account of its beauty, and after the celebrated hill of that name. It is composed of white bronze thickly gilded. The ring and expanded head of the pin are divided into a number of panels ornamented with examples of nearly every technical process, being enriched with enamel-work, niello, and inlaid stones; while the metal is hammered, chased, and engraved, and filigreed with extraordinary delicacy. The enamels, of the cloisonné kind, have been made separately and mounted like gems. Attached to the brooch on one side is a finely plaited chain; a similar chain upon the other side has been lost. The reverse of the brooch is unadorned with settings, but decorated with a divergent spiral ornament known as the Celtic trumpet pattern, executed with very great perfection. The probable date of this extraordinary jewel is the tenth century. It is now the chief treasure of the museum of the Royal Irish Academy, for which it was bought in 1867 for the sum of £200.

PLATE XIV

image the tara brooch
(national museum, dublin)

{79}

The finest after the Tara brooch, and the most famous of Scottish brooches, is known as the Hunterston brooch. It was found in 1826 on the estate of Mr. Robert Hunter, of West Kilbride, Ayrshire, and is now in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland. It is somewhat similar to the Tara brooch, and of the same gilt metal, but rather less ornate, and unprovided with enamels, glass pastes, or chain. Its main ornamentation consists of varieties of interlaced work in fine gold filigree, of singularly beautiful design and of remarkable execution. The back is decorated with the trumpet pattern, and engraved with Runic characters.

The presence of the trumpet pattern upon the backs of these two famous brooches determines their date as prior to the eleventh century; for the old Celtic pattern disappears from brooches and from most Irish and all Scottish metal-work after the year 1000 a.d., and is succeeded by varieties of interlaced work and zoomorphic designs.[26] The later Celtic brooches differ besides in form, for the pin is longer in proportion to the size of the ring, and its head is hinged upon a constriction of the ring, which itself becomes partly filled up.

The Celtic brooch is distinct in itself, and does not merge into any other form. It disappears entirely about the thirteenth century, and is succeeded by a totally different type of brooch, which belongs to the ornaments of the later Middle Ages.


{80}

THE JEWELLERY OF THE MIDDLE AGES
(TENTH TO FIFTEENTH CENTURIES)

 

CHAPTER XI

MEDIÆVAL JEWELLERY

INTRODUCTION

TO the student of jewellery the Middle Ages offer far greater problems than the periods of classic antiquity. The main reason for this is to be found in the fact that throughout mediæval and later periods ornaments were more closely associated with dress, and dress itself became subject to the most marked changes and constant divergences of fashion. In the days of antiquity, so far as our knowledge goes, the idea of fashion, in the present sense of the term, did not exist. But in the Middle Ages, as Luthmer points out, it becomes an important factor in the history of civilisation. The duration of each prevalent fashion tended to become shorter and shorter, and the new mode was usually an absolute contrast to the preceding one. Though ornaments, owing to their higher material value, did not alter with each successive change in dress, nevertheless they underwent rapid variations of style.

The custom of burying objects in graves, which continued for a considerable time after the introduction of Christianity, affords a tolerably clear idea of the various ornaments worn during the earlier periods of the Middle Ages. Coming to a later period, from the time of the first Crusade onwards, discoveries in the {81} graves are extremely rare, and one has to look in many directions for information respecting the articles then in use. Though there seems to have been an immense production of personal ornaments throughout the whole of Europe, their intrinsic value has been too great to allow of their preservation; and the artistic qualities of those that have survived cause one to regret all the more the wholesale destruction that must have occurred. The jewels of the period are, in fact, so few in number, and furnish such striking varieties, that it is impossible to give an exhaustive synopsis of the different changes that took place in their form. The utmost that can be attempted is to take single characteristic pieces and allow them to stand as types of the whole epoch.

Personal ornaments at this time began to have a wider significance than that of being merely decorations pleasant to the eye. Their material value comes more in the foreground. They began to form the nucleus of family and household treasures. The uncertain conditions of life made it desirable for the individual to have his most precious possessions in a portable form. An unfortunate war or royal displeasure might cost a prince or baron his land or his castles; but his movable goods, consisting of precious stones and gold and silver ornaments, were not so easily exposed to the vagaries of his superiors. Thus the numerous inventories of household goods that have come down from those times show an astounding increase in the matter of jewels and treasures among the great and lesser grandees, both secular and ecclesiastical; while there is a corresponding advance at the same time in craftsmanship. To this change in the significance of ornaments is to be attributed their rarity in graves. Jewellery had, in fact, assumed the character of money passed from hand to hand, and was constantly, so to speak, recoined; for even if held in steadfast possession it had to submit to changes of {82} fashion and undergo frequent resetting.[27] Particularly was this the case at the period of the Renaissance, when almost everything Gothic was remodelled.

Tombs, then, supply little or no information; and for the present purpose one may make shift to use the chance descriptions of romancers, and such pictorial representations of jewellery as are presented by effigies on brasses, tombstones, and other monumental sculpture, and also by illuminated manuscripts. Monumental effigies show a number of accurately executed personal ornaments, which, belonging as they do mainly to sovereigns and individuals of wealth and distinction, may be taken as the highest types of those then worn. The miniatures and decorations of manuscripts executed towards the end of the period under review also afford considerable assistance; for illuminators were intensely fond of introducing jewels among the plants, flowers, birds, and butterflies minutely depicted on ornamental borders. The inventories of personal effects made for various purposes, and often full of graphic details, throughout the whole of the period supply absolutely trustworthy evidence as to contemporary ornaments. Pictures, which are among the chief sources of information, are not at one's disposal until towards the termination of this epoch, but such as were produced during the later Gothic style, particularly in Italy, Germany, and the Low Countries, furnish numerous examples of jewellery painted with loving care and minute detail.

Even from these sources of information, however, one could form but an inadequate idea of the precise character of mediæval jewellery. But, while the various reasons mentioned have resulted in the general destruction of articles made for secular use, among precious objects consecrated to religious uses a small number of personal ornaments have been preserved. This may be due, perhaps, to the sanctity of the places containing {83} them, or perhaps to the precautions of their guardians, who have hidden them in time of trouble. They have survived many and strange vicissitudes, and their safety is now secured by a new-created archæological value, in place of the religious devotion which was their former guardian. In the treasury—an edifice attached to the church—there was kept in early times, among the vestments and plate used in its services, a vast collection of reliquaries and jewels gradually brought together, and preserved as memorials of the piety of the faithful. In numerous cases the treasury must have constituted a veritable museum, exhibiting examples of jewellery of each successive style. Some idea can be formed of the immense scope, as well as of the magnificence of its contents, from the early inventories which archæologists of recent years have taken pains to gather together and publish.

The relative abundance of jewellery of Merovingian and Frankish times, and the great rarity of jewellery from the ninth century onwards, are phenomena observable in every museum. The reason for this lies in the fact that until the time of Charlemagne (742-814) the dead were buried with their weapons and with every article of jewellery. The Emperor forbade this mainly as a heathen practice, but largely because he saw the disadvantage of so many costly objects being withdrawn from circulation, with consequent loss to the national resources.

This almost complete absence of examples renders it difficult to estimate precisely the style of ornaments then in use. But as far as can be judged, Byzantine influence seems to have affected all forms of jewellery. It is known, at all events, that until about the twelfth century active commercial transactions between France and Germany on the one hand, and Byzantium on the other, were carried on by way of Venice. Not only did Byzantine workmen settle in the great seaport of {84} the Adriatic, but imitations of work from the Eastern Roman provinces were probably made there at an early date by native artists. Such traffic appears to have been particularly active during the Carlovingian period; while the close friendship of Charlemagne with Haroun al-Raschid, the celebrated caliph of the Saracens, renders it further probable that models of Oriental art abounded in the West in the ninth century. These were not merely confined to articles of jewellery and other goldsmith's productions, but included also sumptuous dress materials interwoven with threads of gold, embroideries studded with gems and pearls, and other objects which the splendour of the rulers of the West and the princes of the Church borrowed from the magnificence prevalent in the East and at the Byzantine Court.[28]

The Eastern influence which during the fourth and fifth centuries had come westwards by way of Byzantium, and had acquired new power owing to the sovereignty of the Arabs in Spain and Sicily during the eighth and ninth centuries, increased considerably at the time of the Crusades. The knights and princes of the West brought back not only impressions of culture from Syria and Palestine, but also actual specimens of gold ornaments and precious stones. There then began an invasion of skilled workmen from the towns of Asia Minor, and a regular importation of such treasures by the merchants of the Italian republics, to wit, Venice, Genoa, and Pisa, who, under the banner of the Cross, re-established their trade with the East.[29]

Until about the twelfth century ornaments followed for the most part the style of those in use in the Eastern Roman provinces. Some were adorned with cloisonné enamel introduced from Byzantium, and first executed by Continental workmen about the eighth {85} century. Cloisonné, however, was, in turn, abandoned for champlevé enamel, the manufacture of which upon the Lower Rhine had been encouraged by the Church, through the instrumentality of the Greek monks.

By the beginning of the twelfth century, the West seems to have become lastingly independent of the East, even with regard to its ornaments, as may be inferred from various remarkable productions in gold and silver, and particularly in gilded copper adorned with champlevé enamel, such as shrines and other sacred objects. Many of these are still preserved in the ecclesiastical treasuries of Germany, while museums at home and abroad all possess beautiful examples.

Though the personal ornaments of this period are now almost entirely lost to us in the original, there has yet been preserved a treasure of inestimable value in the form of a technological manual handed down from the Middle Ages. The work referred to is the famous treatise of Theophilus entitled Schedula Diversarum Artium, which describes the technical processes of almost all the industrial arts cultivated eight centuries ago—the treatise being written shortly before the year 1100.[30] After describing his workshop, Theophilus mentions his tools, and proceeds to describe minutely the various processes necessary for the metal-worker to understand; and shows how the goldsmith was required to be at the same time a modeller, sculptor, smelter, enameller, jewel-mounter, and inlay-worker. Altogether, to judge from the directions there given, more especially those relating to the technical work of the goldsmiths, these Schedulæ would seem to reflect the ancient knowledge and practices of Byzantine workmen, of which, however, the goldsmiths of the twelfth century appear to have become completely independent.

The perfection of artistic work attained by the monasteries led to the production of sumptuous objects {86} to meet the requirements of the Church in connection with its services, while costly shrines were made to contain the numerous relics brought home by pilgrims from the Holy Land. During the period of the Romanesque and early Gothic styles personal ornaments became objects of lesser importance than articles for ecclesiastical use.[31] The enamel-work for the decoration of ornaments was mostly executed at Limoges, which was then rising to importance as the chief centre for the production of enamels. The process employed was champlevé, generally upon copper. Such ornaments as buckles, and brooches or morses, for the belts of knights or the vestments of ecclesiastics, were produced in considerable numbers at Limoges, and found their way all over the north-west of Europe. The trade-guilds of Limoges were probably more active in this kind of enamel than those situated upon the banks of the Rhine, whose work seems to have been devoted principally to shrines and objects for the use of the Church. Ornaments of the above types were executed during the greater part of the twelfth century and throughout the thirteenth, but their manufacture ceased in the century following, when Limoges was sacked by the Black Prince.

From the beginning of the thirteenth century a change takes place with the appearance of the Gothic style. Forms become slighter and more elegant, and exhibit greater delicacy and detail in their workmanship. Hitherto goldsmith's work, however beautiful from the cumulative effect of precious stones and enamels, was little more than conventional, nay, almost barbaric, in its representations of the human figure; but the revival in the art of figure sculpture led to a considerable use being made of the human figure executed in full relief. Just as in the Romanesque period, so during the time when Gothic art reigned supreme, {87} architecture left its impress on every work of art; and jewellery and other goldsmith's work, as well as ivories, seals, and even shoes, were ornamented with the designs of Gothic architecture and with pierced open-work patterns, like the window tracery of the great cathedrals—termed "Paul's windows" by the masses. Improved skill in design and workmanship became incompatible with the retention of the older and coarser enamel-work, and without relinquishing a medium which by the brilliancy of its colouring was eminently suited to the works of the goldsmith, the thirteenth-century craftsman obtained the desired result by the use of translucent enamel upon metal, usually silver, chased and modelled in low relief.

The beauty of this basse-taille enamel, producing, as it were, transparent pictures, enabled the artist frequently to dispense with coloured gems, and retain only pearls, whose delicate hues harmonised better with his work. Occasionally, however, pearls, precious stones, and translucent enamels were employed together with brilliant effect.

Gothic ornaments of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries show a peculiar love for figurative and architectural motives which exhibit astonishing technique and beauty of form. Towards the middle of the fourteenth century there came into use enamel on full relief (émail en ronde bosse). In the inventories of the time, where it is frequently mentioned, this enamel, usually opaque white, is termed émail en blanc. So charming was the contrast of white, marble-like figures by the side of gold, bright coloured stones, and polychrome enamels, that for upwards of three centuries goldsmiths continued to apply this species of enamel to jewels. It was particularly characteristic of the fifteenth century. Several brooches ornamented with it will be referred to later (p. 143); but the most remarkable example of its use is the wonderful votive jewel of French workmanship {88} termed "Das Goldene Rössel," in the treasury of the abbey church of Altoetting, in Bavaria, which dates from about 1400.[32] The minute repoussé figures on sixteenth-century jewels were usually coated with white enamel; and jewellery émaillée de blanc is often alluded to in inventories. This species of enamel was discarded in the seventeenth century, when figures in relief went out of fashion for jewellery.

Though towards the close of the Middle Ages the art of cutting precious stones and even diamonds was certainly practised, yet it is to be observed that throughout the whole period jewellery is set as a rule with stones en cabochon, i.e. with their surfaces rounded and polished in a convex shape, but not faceted. The stone treated thus preserves its own character and individuality; and much of the charm of early jewellery is due to this very fact.

From the middle of the thirteenth century enamel in general, though applied to jewels of commoner kinds, is chiefly limited to the more sumptuous ornaments of the clergy. But with the beginning of the fourteenth century the delight in jewellery enriched with enamels and precious stones is again revealed in the costumes of the laity. At the French Court of John II (le Bon, d. 1364) and Charles V (d. 1380), where the princes of the royal blood strove to outrival one another in luxurious display, personal adornments attained an extraordinary degree of splendour, and were worn to an excess of ostentation.[33]

This extravagance of fashion declined for a time owing to the wars with England, but attained its full {89} development in the dress of the Burgundian Court. The splendour of the Burgundian dukes, outshining that of their feudal lieges the kings of France, and casting into the shade the rude grandeur of the German emperors, gave a new impetus to the use of articles for personal decoration, and for a time set the fashion for every country of northern Europe in all matters of style as well as of ornament. Outside of Italy, which perhaps excelled in point of culture, the Court of the dukes of Burgundy during the fifteenth century was the richest and most luxurious in all Europe. The sway of this powerful House extended over the Low Countries, whose ports after Venice were the centres of Oriental commerce and whose inland towns, such as Arras, Brussels, and Ghent, vied with one another in weaving the products of the East into all manner of rich stuffs. Not only silks, but pearls and precious stones of all descriptions, found an entrance through the great port of Bruges; and hardly a garment is depicted by the Flemish masters which, particularly in the case of the ecclesiastics, is not thick-sewn with Oriental pearls and stones. A survey of records containing descriptions of personal property,[34] and an examination of contemporary pictures—always the most fascinating document in regard to personal ornament—reveal a widespread luxury. Not only at Court, but in the everyday life of street and mart, costumes formed of magnificent stuffs were habitually worn, which required to be set off by jewels of an equally rich description. The warmth of the Italian climate demanded no such wealth of apparel as was essential to comfort in the more northerly countries; hence profusion of personal ornament was less generally indulged in throughout {90} Italy during the same period. This special love of jewellery and consequent taste and skill acquired by the goldsmiths was shared by the painters of the day. With a high degree of finish and brilliancy, they introduced into their pictures faithful representations of all the rich ornaments then in vogue. Unfortunately actual examples of the splendid jewels of this time are now of the utmost rarity, but such as have survived, chiefly in the form of rich enamelled brooches, reflect in their execution the technical perfection and in their design the whole-hearted realism which display themselves to the full in the paintings of the early Flemish school.

image

Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece, made in 1432 by John Peutin of Bruges, jeweller to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. (From the portrait of Baldwin de Lannoy by John van Eyck at Berlin.)


{91}

CHAPTER XII

MEDIÆVAL ENGLAND

A FEW brooches and finger rings are almost the only surviving examples of English jewellery of the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries. Yet there is evidence from existing records of an abundance of the most beautiful objects as accumulated in the ecclesiastical treasuries, and the great shrines, like that of St. Thomas of Canterbury, or of Our Lady of Walsingham Priory, which not even the Santa Casa at Loreto, or the shrine of St. James at Compostella, could surpass in renown, or equal in the reception of rich and costly gifts. Vast quantities of jewelled objects, which must have been in great part native productions, have also been tabulated in the inventories of our monarchs, princes, guilds, and corporations. Judging from extant examples of English painted glass, sculpture, and particularly embroidery, some estimate can be formed of the high quality of the goldsmiths' work, which was scarcely excelled in the Middle Ages by that of any other country in Europe. The English goldsmiths, in fact, after the Norman Conquest seem to have lost none of the skill which is displayed on their earlier productions.

TN: no footnote marker in the text - footnote reads:
De Mély and Bishop, Bibliographie générale des inventaires imprimés, 1892-95.

A love of finery seems to have characterised the Court of William the Conqueror and his successors. The jewellery of the ladies became exceedingly extravagant, and is bitterly inveighed against by the religious {92} satirists. Neckam, an Anglo-Latin poet, towards the close of the twelfth century, accuses them of covering themselves with gold and gems and of perforating their ears in order to hang them with jewels.

Henry I had the tastes of a collector. That he collected gems is known from a letter written by a prior of Worcester to Edmer, Anselm's biographer, in which he suggests that for money Henry might be persuaded to part with some pearls.[35] King John was greatly attached to his jewels, and their loss in the Wash is commonly supposed to have hastened his death. The record is preserved concerning the loss on an earlier occasion of certain of his precious stones "which we are wont to wear round our neck." The stones must have been credited with miraculous powers, for their finder was very liberally rewarded.[36] Henry III, one of the most indigent of monarchs, made such extravagant presents of jewellery to his wife, that he was afterwards obliged to pawn not only his regalia, but a considerable portion of the jewels and precious stones accumulated at the shrine of Edward the Confessor at Westminster Abbey.

Dating first from about this period are a number of inventories of personal ornaments; and it is by a perusal of the inventories of the most wealthy, and particularly those of sovereign princes, that an estimate can be obtained of the nature of every type of ornament in use at the period, in its most elaborate form. Among the earliest and most important royal inventories that have been published are those preserved in the Wardrobe Account (Liber Quotidianus) of Edward I, for the year 1299.[37] The jewels (jocalia) include a large number of morses or clasps (firmacula) given by the king to bishops, and restored after their deaths, and similar {93} objects offered by the king or queen to various shrines; while among other jewels are brooches or nouches (noucheæ), many rings (anuli), a pendant (pendulum), belt (zona), bracelet (braccale), and baldrick (baudre). About this time masses of precious stones, the spoils of the Crusades, began to find their way into this country, and to be employed for "broidering" or sewing upon the garments. Edward II and his extravagant favourites, such as the worthless Piers Gaveston, loaded themselves with precious stones. Lists of jewels belonging to Gaveston on his attainder in 1313,[38] and to the king in 1324, show the magnificence of their ornaments, and the vast sums at which they were valued. The king's jewels,[39] described in considerable detail, are inventoried under the following headings: (a) Stones and other objects, (b) Crowns of gold and silver, including cercles and chapeletz, (c) Brooches (fermails) of gold, (d) Fleures de liz, (e) Rings (anelx) of gold, (f) Girdles (ceintres) and diadems (tressoures). From this time onward there is an increase of such documents and of wills, and also of sumptuary laws specially connected with personal ornaments.

The brilliant reign of Edward III[40] was favourable to the full display of jewellery. New luxuries were imported in great abundance, and there was hardly a lady of position who had not in her possession some portion of the spoils of plate and jewels from cities beyond the sea; while those who, like the Knight of Chaucer, had been at Alexandra "when it was won," returned with cloth of gold, velvets, and precious stones. In the thirty-seventh year of this reign (1363) the Parliament held at Westminster enacted several sumptuary laws against the extravagant use of personal adornment. {94} These state what costume is suited to the various degrees of rank and income, and are of value for the information they supply on the prevailing fashions in jewellery. Restrictions of this kind, re-enacted from time to time, and apparently of little effect, seem to have been intended not so much to prevent the gratification of an instinctive desire for bravery and splendour, as to make different classes proclaim their rank and station by their dress.

Chaucer in the Prologue of his Canterbury Tales affords in a charming manner additional information about the personal ornaments of the different grades of English society of his time. He gives detailed description of the brooch of the yeoman and the nun, and pictures the merchant with his richly clasped shoes, the squire with short knife and gypcière (purse) at his girdle, the carpenter's wife with her collar fastened by a brooch as "broad as the boss of a buckler," and various tradesmen who, in spite of sumptuary laws, wore pouches, girdles, and knives of silver:—

Hir knives were ychaped not with bras
But all with silver wrought ful clene and wel
Hir girdeles and hir pouches every del.

The passion for personal ornaments, or "bravouries" as they were termed, reached its zenith in England during the reign of the elegant and unfortunate Richard II, whose courtiers outvied one another in such extravagances. An anonymous writer of the period quoted by Camden in his Remaines concerning Britain speaks of hoods, even those worn by men of moderate means, as commonly set with gold and precious stones, while "their girdles are of gold and silver, some of them worth twenty marks." The king, in constant want of money, was obliged on several occasions to deposit the royal jewels with the Corporation of London as security for loans, and detailed lists {95} of the objects selected for the purpose are preserved in the inventories of the Exchequer, and among the city archives.

In spite of attempted restrictions, and notwithstanding the disastrous Wars of the Roses, immense demands appear to have been made upon the productive powers of the jewellers throughout the whole of the fifteenth century. The remarkable list of Henry IV's jewels in the inventories of the Exchequer, and the most important of royal English inventories of the Middle Ages, that taken after the death of Henry V in 1422 (Rotuli Parliamentorum, IV, pp. 214-241), serve to show that until the end of the century, which may serve as the termination of the period, extraordinary extravagance in the style and nature of ornaments as well as of costume was the order of the day.

Every one who had acquired wealth, or even a modest competence only, displayed a magnificence far beyond his means. It was a time when wealth was required in a compact and tangible form. Owners did not hesitate to melt down their jewels when desirous of employing them for other purposes. The change of taste which shortly came about tended towards similar destruction; while the Wars of the Roses involved the breaking up of much that was most sumptuous in material and beautiful in workmanship.


Throughout the whole of the Christian Middle Ages the highest efforts of the goldsmith were directed to the enrichment of the Church and the adornment of its ministers, and the magnificence which the ritual of the Church fostered found expression in the jewelled ornaments of ecclesiastic vestments. In Norman times ecclesiastical jewellery was extremely luxurious and costly, and the illuminations of the period show the cope and chasuble richly bordered with precious stones. St. Thomas à Becket wore an extraordinary profusion {96} of jewels, and descriptions are preserved of the magnificence of his own person and of his attendants during a progress he once made through the streets of Paris. Innocent III, memorable in this country as the Pope to whom the pusillanimous John surrendered his crown, is recorded to have commented on the richness of the costumes and ornaments of the English clergy, with a hint at the possibility of extracting further sums for the increase of the papal revenue. The early inventories all record the splendour of the vestments used in public worship, and show how pearls, precious stones, and even ancient cameos, all rendered more beautiful by exquisite settings, were employed for their enrichment. No bishop, indeed, was suitably equipped without a precious mitre with delicate goldsmith's work and inlaid gems, without a splendid morse or brooch to fasten his cope, and without a ring, set with an antique gem or a stone en cabochon, to wear over his embroidered glove.

Of all these rich ornaments scarcely any examples have survived save a number of rings recovered from the graves of ecclesiastics. All the more precious, therefore, are the jewelled ornaments bequeathed in 1404 by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, to New College, Oxford, where they are still preserved as relics of its munificent founder. These unique examples of mediæval jewellery date from the closing years of the fourteenth century—the period of transition from Decorated to Perpendicular architecture: a time when Gothic art had reached its climax; and not only the architect, but the painter and the goldsmith were still devoting their utmost efforts on behalf of the Church, the centre of the whole mediæval system.

PLATE XV

image william of wykeham's jewels
new college, oxford

The New College jewels originally decorated William of Wykeham's precious mitre (mitra pretiosa). Portions of the groundwork of the mitre sewn with seed pearls, and its original case of cuir bouilli or boiled leather, stamped with fleurs-de-lis and bound with iron straps, {97} are still preserved in the College. Among the jewelled fragments are hinged bands of silver gilt, formed of plates of basse-taille enamel representing animals and grotesques, which alternate with settings of dark blue pastes and white crystals surrounded by radiating pearls. These bands probably went round the lower part of the mitre, and also perhaps ran up the middle of it, before and behind. The crests of the mitre were edged with strips of exquisitely chased crocketing in gold. The other fragments include two rosettes of beautifully executed Gothic foliation set with white crystals, together with two quatrefoils in silver gilt and a cruciform gold ornament set with turquoises.

The chief treasure of the New College collection is an exquisite gold jewel, a monogram of the Blessed Virgin, the patron saint of the "College of St. Mary of Winton in Oxford." It is a crowned Lombardic M; and might be the rich capital of some mediæval manuscript, with its gorgeous colouring faithfully translated into gold, enamel, pearls, and precious stones. In the open parts of the letter are figures of the Virgin and the Angel of the Annunciation in full relief, the angel's wings being covered with enamel of translucent green. The space above the head of each figure is occupied with delicate architectural work of open cuspings. In the centre of the jewel is a large ruby in the form of a vase, from which spring three lilies with white enamelled blossoms. On each side of the vase are three small emeralds. Remarkable taste is shown in the arrangement of the precious stones: fine emeralds and rubies, en cabochon, mounted alternately in raised settings round the jewel. Two stones, a ruby on the left and an emerald on the right, are missing. The rest of the mountings are Oriental pearls somewhat discoloured by age (Pl. XV, 1).

It is generally considered that the jewel adorned and occupied a central place on the mitre, and its dimensions {98} (2 by 2¼ inches) render its employment in that position probable. As, however, there are no indications of such an ornament on contemporary representations of mitres, and above all on the mitre figured on the founder's own tomb at Winchester, there remains the possibility of the jewel having been employed as a brooch or nouche on some other part of the vestment.

This remarkable jewel stands quite alone in point of excellence. It goes far to justify the contention that English jewellers at this period, as well as in Saxon times, equalled, if they did not outstrip, the craftsmen of other nations in the successful cultivation of the goldsmith's art.

image Interior of a jeweller's shop.
From Kreuterbuch (Frankfort, 1536).

{99}

CHAPTER XIII

THE MYSTERY OF PRECIOUS STONES

ONE of the most curious and interesting facts in connection with the jewellery of the Middle Ages is the peculiar respect which seems to have been paid to precious stones. "In a scientific age," says Mr. Paton, "it is difficult to apprehend and sympathise with the state of mind which endowed natural objects with the properties of charms and fetiches. Before it was the habit to trace phenomena to natural causes, faith in occult powers was strong, and credulity exercised a marked influence on the habits and actions of the people."[41] Precious stones, on account of the mystery and romance attaching to most things of Eastern origin, had long attracted to themselves a superstitious reverence; so that their choice and arrangement, which appear to us merely arbitrary nowadays, had in the Middle Ages a distinct meaning consecrated by traditions dating back from very ancient times. Every stone, like those which enriched the breast-plate of the High Priest, and those which in St. John's vision formed the foundations of the Heavenly Jerusalem, was supposed to possess special powers and virtues. Abundant proof of this is exhibited in the mediæval inventories, where the beauty or rarity of a stone counted for infinitely less in the estimation of its value than the reputed talismanic virtue, such as {100} the toadstone, for example, was supposed to possess. The mediæval literature of precious stones,[42] wherein is expounded their medicinal virtues or their supernatural powers in baffling evil spirits, is based on a classical poem of about the fourth century a.d., entitled Lithica, which claims to be a statement of their magic properties made by the seer Theodamas to the poet Orpheus. Similar belief in the virtues of precious stones was still in existence in the sixteenth century, and finds an exponent in Camillus Leonardus, physician to Cæsar Borgia, in his work entitled Speculum Lapidum, published at Venice in 1502. Even as late as the following century the use of precious stones as charms was more than half sanctioned by the learned, and in his Natural History Bacon lays it down as credible that "precious stones may work by consent upon the spirits of men to comfort and exhilarate them." The learned lawyer and philosopher, indeed, was not in this much superior to the plain and simple folk who still imagined that every precious stone had some mystic value communicable to the wearer. About the same time De Boot, or Boethius, the learned physician to the Emperor Rudolf II, published his famous Lapidary, which Mr. C. W. King recommends as a work worthy of especial study for the properties of stones, and mentions how it "draws a distinction that curiously illustrates the struggle then going on between traditional superstition and common sense."[43]

With the advance of Christianity the representation {101} of the subjects of pagan mythology was forbidden by law; but the old ideas were retained for many years, and small objects like cameos or intaglios were carried about concealed upon the person. Later on, when all knowledge of classical art had sunk into oblivion, such stones became prized not only for the subjects engraved on them, which their mediæval owner seldom understood, but also for the fact that they were supposed to possess special talismanic virtues. The majority of these gems were mounted as rings or as seals of secular and ecclesiastical personages of rank.

Preserved among the Harleian MSS. in the British Museum is a thirteenth-century MS. (quoted by Mr. Wright in Archæologia, Vol. XXX), which contains instructions for the wearing of various stones, and for the composition of the different metals of the rings in which they were to be set. A proof of the firm establishment of the Romans in Britain is afforded by the number of their gems brought to light in mediæval times; while the decay of the art of gem-engraving in the Middle Ages is shown by the fact that the Harleian MS. always refers to these gems as objects "to be found and not made.... A stone engraved in one manner you should suspend about the neck, as it enables you to find treasures, the impression in wax of another stone will cause men to speak well of you." The engraving of a dove with a branch of olive in its mouth should be mounted in a silver ring, and another gem should be placed in a ring of lead.

From these and similar writings it is clear that one of the objects aimed at by the mediæval authors was to define the different virtues of the sigils engraved upon precious stones. Such ideas, not previously unknown, as, for example among the Gnostics, were no doubt stimulated by the Crusades, whereby the study of alchemy and the interest in Oriental mysteries became spread throughout Europe. Leonardus, as late as the sixteenth {102} century, observes that stones "if engraved by a skilful person or under some particular influence, will receive a certain virtue.... But if the effect intended by the figure engraved be the same as that produced by the natural quality of the stone, its virtue will be doubled, and its efficacy augmented." We see thus that the talismanic ideas respecting precious stones were attached as much to their engraving as to the stones themselves.

Owing to the complete decline of the glyptic art in the Middle Ages, antique cameos and intaglios, on account of some fancied assimilation in subject or idea to Christian symbolism, were occasionally used for devout subjects. Together with the general ignorance of classical art, and the consequent attempts that were made to give the pagan representation upon antique gems a Christian signification—frequently in a very forced and curious manner—there appears to have been a certain appreciation of their beauty. When small relics, such as particles of the wood of the cross, or larger relics, as bones of the saints, were enclosed either in portable reliquaries or in costly shrines, such receptacles were not infrequently encrusted with ancient cameos and intaglios, as representing the very choicest objects which the fervent devotion of the age could select for this sacred purpose. The Shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne[44] and the Treasure of Conques[45] are still enriched with many fine examples of the gem-engraver's art, and the magnificent gold shrine of Edward the Confessor in Westminster Abbey, long since despoiled, was formerly mounted with numerous cameos, all probably antique.[46]

PLATE XVI

image antique cameos in mediæval settings

The history of the glyptic art has been sufficiently {103} encroached upon here to demonstrate the prominent place occupied by antique gems in the personal ornaments of the Middle Ages. Their use for signet rings will be referred to again; but attention must be drawn to the three most remarkable examples of their application to other articles of jewellery—the Jewel of St. Hilary and the Cameo of Charles V in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris, and the Schaffhausen Onyx, preserved among the archives of the town of Schaffhausen in Switzerland (Pl. XVI).

The Jewel of St. Hilary contains a fine cameo head in profile of the Emperor Augustus on a sardonyx. It is enclosed in a frame of silver gilt set with large rubies, sapphires, and pearls. The jewel was formerly employed as a pectoral or breast-ornament upon a silver reliquary bust of St. Hilary preserved in the Treasury of St. Denis. On the dispersal of the Treasury in 1791, the jewel was removed to the Bibliothèque Nationale. The framework dates from the twelfth century. It measures 3½ by 2½ inches.[47] The Cameo of Charles V of France, a sardonyx of three layers, dating from Imperial Roman times, represents a full length figure of Jupiter. It is mounted in the gold frame in which it was presented to the Treasury at Chartres by the King. Such prophylactic verses[48] as are found frequently side by side upon amulets and in cabalistic formulæ of the Middle Ages, are inscribed round its edge on a ground of blue and red enamel, together with the opening words of St. John's Gospel, which were supposed to serve as a protection, particularly against demons and thunder. The figure of Jupiter with the eagle probably passed for a representation of the evangelist. At the lower part is a crowned escutcheon bearing the arms of France, and on the crown is an inscription recording the presentation of the jewel by Charles V in the year 1367.[49] {104} This beautiful example of French jewellery of the fourteenth century is 6 inches in length and 3 in width.

Of slightly later date than the Jewel of St. Hilary, and of far more elaborate workmanship, though perhaps less well known on account of its somewhat remote situation, is the Schaffhausen Onyx. The stone, a fine sardonyx, is a Roman cameo of a female figure carrying a cornucopia and caduceus, and intended to represent Peace. Its setting, a superb specimen of mediæval goldwork, is mounted with figures of eagles and lions, chased in full relief and arranged in regular order between high bezels set with garnets, sapphires, pearls, and turquoises. The outside measurement of the jewel is 6 by 5 inches, and that of the stone 3½ by 3.[50]

The large part played by superstition in the ornaments of the Middle Ages need not be further enlarged on. The virtues of charms were not only associated with gems and precious stones; for mystic letters, cabalistic inscriptions, and other devices were among the chief features of mediæval jewellery. Such devices lingered long after the Renaissance of learning had partially dispelled the mysticism of the Middle Ages; while similar superstitions in respect to precious stones are even now not entirely extinct, in spite of the assurances of modern science.

image

Gold ring engraved and enamelled with figures of the Virgin and Child and St. John the Evangelist. Scottish, fifteenth century (Nat. Mus. of Antiq., Edinburgh).


{105}

CHAPTER XIV

MEDIÆVAL HEAD-ORNAMENTS AND NECKLACES

HEAD-ORNAMENTS from the tenth to the sixteenth century belong for the most part rather to the general history of costume than to that of jewellery proper; and it will be unnecessary to follow those extravagances of fashion which, especially during the fifteenth century, were presented by the head-dress of women. More germane to the subject are the fillets, bands, and chaplets worn throughout the Middle Ages by women when their heads were uncovered, and during a more limited period by men also. The original form of these was a ribbon, which encircled the brow, held back the hair from the face, and adjusted the veil; while wreaths, either of natural flowers or of plain gold, were a frequent decoration for young women. Hence the bands or chaplets, which took their motives from those more simple ornaments, were made either wholly of metal (cercles), or of gold flowers sewn upon an embroidered band (described in inventories as chapeletz), both forms being enriched with pearls and precious stones. The fillet later on became a heavy band composed of separate pieces of metal joined by hinges, and showed such close resemblance to the broad belts of the knights, that in the inventory of Edward II, quoted above, tressoures and ceintures are entered together under one heading. The wearing of such head-ornaments was not confined exclusively to the nobility, for {106} the receipt of a sale of jewels by Agnes Chalke, spicer of London, to a certain John of Cambridge in 1363, includes a "coronal of gold, wrought with stones, that is to say, with rubyes, saphirs, emeralds, and pearls."[51] Exquisite circlets set with these gems are worn by the choir of singing and music-making angels on the wings of the Van Eycks' famous "Ghent Altar-piece" in the Berlin Museum. The fillet, whether a complete circle or hinged, received about the fourteenth century additional enrichments in the form of trefoils, fleurs-de-lis, crosses, and foliations, erected on cuspings upon its upper edge. A simple but charming example of a circlet, dating from the fourteenth century, is preserved in the Musée du Cinquantenaire at Brussels. It is of silver gilt, formed of hinged plaques, each mounted with from three to four collets set with pearls, and with pastes in imitation of precious stones, while additional ornaments in the form of fleurs-de-lis are fixed erect upon it (Pl. XVII, 9).

From the diadem of this character originated the coronets worn by those of high or noble rank; the use of these, amid the ceremonies of later courts, crystallised into a system of class privilege. Such diadems or coronets approach the form of the regal crown, which in England, as early as the eleventh century, was enriched with rays and floriations. The regal crown, with which we are not immediately concerned,[52] by the addition of arches, was converted about the fifteenth century into what is technically known as the "close" crown.

Round the helmets of knights in the fifteenth century ornamental wreaths called orles were worn; these, originally composed of two bands of silk twisted {107} together were afterwards richly jewelled. One of the most famous of jewelled hats was that of Charles the Bold, thickly encrusted with huge pearls and precious stones, which was captured by the Swiss after his death at the battle of Nancy in 1477.[53]

Of female ornaments of the same period it need only be stated that the elaborate head-dresses, such as the cornette, escoffion, and henin—it is sometimes difficult to imagine how women had sufficient strength to keep them balanced on their heads—were profusely adorned with pearls, gold spangles, and precious stones, and in some cases with crowns or crown-shaped combs of elaborate goldwork enriched with gems. The Italians, with more refined taste, seem, as will be observed (p. 171), to have escaped from such extravagances sooner than the rest of Europe, and to have been content for the most part with a simple bandeau encircling the forehead.

Among the most interesting varieties of personal ornaments in the Middle Ages are certain jewels or brooches worn in the hat and known as enseignes. From the lead signs or ornaments worn by pilgrims there was gradually evolved a special class of jewels on which the great artists of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries exercised their utmost skill, and which at the present day are among the most highly prized of all early articles of personal jewellery.

Rivers near large cities have supplied us with much of the knowledge we possess of the manners and habits of those who in former times dwelt upon their banks. Whenever dredging or digging disturbs the beds of such rivers, objects of antiquity, which seem to have gravitated there, are sure to be discovered. The municipal museum of many a city of ancient foundation preserves choice works of antiquity recovered from its river's bed.

{108} Among the most remarkable objects brought to light in this manner are certain curious mediæval ornaments, which belong to the age that has bequeathed exceedingly few examples of articles for personal use. The ornaments referred to are the small badges or signs of lead, given or sold, as tokens, to mediæval pilgrims to the shrines of saints or martyrs, and known as "Pilgrims' Signs." They were obtained from the attendants at shrines and exhibitions of relics, who kept ready a large variety bearing the effigy or device of some particular saint, or the symbol that had reference to his acts of worship. Each sign or token was pierced with holes, or more frequently had a pin cast in one piece with it, making it available as a brooch. It was thus fastened to the hat or other portion of the pilgrim's dress as a testimony of his having visited the particular shrine indicated by the token. These badges, which date from about the thirteenth to the fifteenth century, were manufactured at the churches or monasteries to which pilgrimages were made. Moulds for casting them are preserved in the British Museum and the Guildhall Museum; and a forge was found at Walsingham Priory where the sacristan melted the metals employed for their manufacture.[54]

It will be outside the present purpose to enumerate all the varieties of form assumed by these interesting and historically most valuable objects. Important collections of them are preserved in the British Museum and Guildhall Museum in London, and in the Musée Cluny, Paris (Pl. XVII, 1-4).

In England the most popular relics were those of Our Lady of Walsingham Priory, and particularly {109} those of St. Thomas of Canterbury, whose signs, according to a statement of Giraldus Cambrensis, were worn as early as the twelfth century. The anonymous author of the supplement to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales speaks of the purchase of signs by Chaucer's party on the occasion of their pilgrimage to Canterbury, and remarks that on their departure from the Cathedral "they sett their signys upon their hedes, and som upon their capp." And Erasmus, in his Colloquy of the pilgrimage for religion's sake, notes that pilgrims were "covered on every side with images of tin and lead." Judging from the number and variety of the badges relating to the murdered archbishop, Becket, his shrine must have enjoyed a widespread popularity, though the scallop-shell of St. James of Compostella was perhaps more universally recognised as a pilgrim's sign than any other.

These signs or signacula were worn not only on a pilgrimage, but also formed a customary decoration for the hat. Some, even in early times, perhaps as early as the thirteenth century, though partaking of a religious character, do not seem to have had reference to any particular shrine, and referred simply to incidents in popular religious legends. Others were merely symbols or emblems; yet, like the majority of mediæval trinkets, they nearly all displayed religious motives and were supposed to possess talismanic powers. Louis XI, the cruel and superstitious King of France, commonly wore such signs, particularly those of the celebrated Notre-Dame d'Embrun, stuck round his hat; and on a visit to Henry, King of Castile, he wore, so Philip de Comines informs us, a very old hat with leaden images upon it.

It is very evident that we have here the origin of the hat-ornaments or enseignes of gold and silver, and enriched with precious stones and enamels, which, coming first into use in the fifteenth century, became {110} extremely popular in the sixteenth, and were worn on almost every man's hat, and sometimes on those of women, until the middle of the seventeenth century. Like those obtained at the shrines, they bore at first the figure of a saint—generally a patron saint—or a figure of the Virgin. Of signs such as these, some came to represent the actual badge of the wearer or of some one to whom he was affectionately attached, while others took the form of badges of livery, and were worn in the hats of the retainers of great families. Philip de Comines records that Lord Bourchier, Governor of Calais, 1470, wore a ragged staff of gold upon his bonnet. This was the badge of the Earl of Warwick, and all his attendants had ragged staves likewise. A leaden enseigne of a bear and ragged staff (the House of Warwick), a crowned ostrich feather (Duke of Norfolk), a hound (Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury), and a dolphin (badge of the Dauphin—afterwards Louis XI—and his faction, the Armagnacs), together with others of a similar nature, are in the British Museum (Pl. XVII, 5-8). The badges of the Kings of England were employed in the same manner: and among the British Museum collection is a hart lodged—the badge of Richard II, and in the Guildhall a broom-pod (genista) of the Plantagenets, and a crown of fleurs-de-lis—the badge of Henry V.

A considerable number of small shield-shaped bronze and copper pendants, enamelled with coats of arms, and having a ring above for suspension, seem also to have served as badges. There is the possibility that some were worn by the servants of nobility as enseignes upon the hat, or perhaps on the left arm or breast. But the majority appear to have been employed for the decoration of horse-harness.[55]

PLATE XVII

image mediæval head-ornaments

Mediæval hat-badges of gold are of extreme rarity. The Franks Bequest in the British Museum contains {111} a choice example. It is a fifteenth-century Flemish jewel of gold, representing a "pelican in her piety" standing upon a scroll, and set with a ruby and a small pointed diamond (Pl. XVII, 11). In the Victoria and Albert Museum is a circular gold enseigne of open-work enriched with Gothic foliations. The outer rim is set with seven small rubies. In the centre is an antique onyx cameo representing a lion. It is Spanish work of the second half of the fifteenth century (Pl. XVII, 10).

These two jewels are clearly hat-ornaments; but it is often difficult to distinguish between a brooch or nouche intended to be worn upon the dress and a hat-brooch, though the latter can, as a rule, be distinguished by its form or by its subject. The enseigne was sometimes employed like a brooch for fastening a plume decoration, but as a rule served as an independent ornament, and appears on the paintings, sculpture, and tapestry of the fifteenth century attached to the side of the head-gear. It became a jewel of still greater importance in the sixteenth century, and will be further dealt with among the jewellery of the Renaissance.

The talismanic properties associated with the signacula procured at the shrines were extended to many objects of base metal, as brooches and finger-rings, which had been placed in contact with relics of saints, or blessed at their shrines. Brooches and rings also of gold and silver bear talismanic inscriptions. A common inscription is the names of the Three Kings—as on the Glenlyon brooch—which originated in pilgrimages to the shrine of the Kings of the East in the church of Sant' Eustorgio at Milan, or more probably to that in Cologne Cathedral. The names of the "Three Kings of Collein" were considered to be a charm against epilepsy or the "falling sickness." Many personal ornaments of base metal, however, are quite unconnected with any religious practice or with pilgrims' signs; for objects of pewter are often merely replicas {112} of more precious jewels in gold and silver, and must have been worn by the poorer classes. The fact that several are plated or washed with silver shows that they were intended to pass for the real objects. Yet they are of considerable importance, since we find among them types of ornaments which do not exist in the precious metals. It may be suggested that some were made as models for real articles of jewellery; but we are, unfortunately, not in possession of evidence (such as can be produced in connection with the jewellery of the Renaissance) which can offer any likelihood that this is actually the case with these mediæval ornaments.

 

EARRINGS

Though common in the Merovingian and Carlovingian epoch, earrings appear to have been worn only to a limited extent, and that at the commencement of the period at present under discussion. Pendants formed of quadrilateral prisms set on each side with cabochon garnets and hung with small strings of garnet beads are attached to the ears of the tenth-century figure of St. Foy in the treasury at Conques; though it is not impossible that these, like many of the gems that adorn the statue, may be of earlier workmanship. That the Byzantine style of earring, of crescent form, was worn during the eleventh and twelfth centuries is evident from a twelfth-century bronze ewer, in the shape of a head of a woman, of Flemish work, in the Museum of Budapest.[56] Earrings, however, enjoyed no great popularity during the Middle Ages, and the cause of this must be traced to the fashion which prescribed for women a style of coiffure by which the hair fell down at the sides, or was covered by a veil, which {113} would have effectively hidden any ornaments for the ear. It was only at the end of the fourteenth century that fashion again allowed the hair to be worn high. Pendent rings of gold for ladies' ears are mentioned in the Roman de la Rose, and statues occasionally exhibit short earrings, pearls attached to the lobe of the ear, or stones in the form of drops. Earrings, indeed, did not come into very common use until the close of the fifteenth or the beginning of the sixteenth century.

 

NECKLACES AND COLLARS

The custom of wearing necklaces and neck-chains was much more limited during the Middle Ages than it had been in antiquity and at the time of the great migrations. Women's necklaces can hardly be proved to have been in general use before the end of the fourteenth century, and during the Middle Ages seldom attained the exaggerated style they exhibited at the period of the Renaissance. They consisted mostly of plaited cords of gold wire, and probably of single or double chains of pearls. These originally encircled the throat, but at a later date were worn more upon the breast. Though many forms of personal ornament are mentioned in early wills and inventories, we rarely meet with a reference to the necklace until the fourteenth century; nor is it pictured on monumental effigies or brasses until the beginning of the century following. If worn at all prior to this date, it must simply have served the purpose of supporting pendants of various forms known as pentacols.

These neck-chains, or collars as they were termed, soon began to receive additional enrichment, and the inventories of the fifteenth century contain frequent descriptions of necklets adorned with enamels and precious stones. Eleanor, Countess of Arundel (1455), {114} bequeathed to her daughter "a golden collar for the neck, with a jewel set with precious stones hanging thereat." The fashion for rich necklaces was especially in vogue at the luxurious Court of the Dukes of Burgundy; nor had the Court of Richard II been behindhand in the display of this species of ornament, for the magnificent wedding presents of his wife, Isabella of France, included a collar of gold set with precious stones of immense value.

The word carcanet seems to have come into use about this time for rich necklaces of precious stones, and to have been applied a little later to the bands of jewels commonly entwined in ladies' hair.

Though never so generally worn as in the sixteenth century, a considerable number of these jewelled ornaments are represented in the exquisite paintings of the fifteenth century. One of the most elaborate of all is the superb gold necklet, brilliantly enamelled with small and many-coloured flowers, shown on the portrait of Maria, wife of Pierantonio Baroncelli, in the Uffizi Gallery at Florence, by an unknown Flemish painter of the latter part of the fifteenth century. Close by, in the same gallery, is Van der Goes' celebrated triptych, presented to the Spedale di Santa Maria Nuova by Tommaso Portinari, agent of the Medici in Bruges. Upon the right wing is Maria, wife of the donor, with her daughter. The former wears a magnificent necklace of exquisite design, its interlacing goldwork shaped into the form of roses enamelled red, white, and blue, each set respectively with a sapphire, a ruby, and a large pearl. The latter is adorned with a necklace composed of a double row of pearls connected by oval jewelled ornaments; beneath is hung a trefoil-shaped pendant set with rubies, to which is attached a large drop-pearl (p. 117). A precisely similar ornament is seen in another work by Van der Goes, painted about 1473—the well-known portrait of Margaret, {115} queen of James III of Scotland, now at Holyrood.[57] This picture was probably executed in Flanders from material supplied by the donor, and the artist appears to have adorned Queen Margaret with the same beautiful necklace, probably of Florentine workmanship, which he had seen round the neck of Signorina Portinari.

Jane Shore, the beautiful and unfortunate mistress of Edward IV, and wife of the rich jeweller of Lombard Street, is represented in her two portraits, one at King's College, Cambridge, and the other at Eton, wearing elaborate necklaces. Around her throat are two strings of pearls, with a necklet below of circular pieces of Gothic pattern, supporting a lozenge-shaped pendant of similar design adorned with pearls. Among sculptured representations of the necklet the most interesting is that on the monument of Sir John Crosby (d. 1475) and his wife in St. Helen's Church, Bishopsgate, where the latter wears a very handsome necklace of roses, to which is attached a cluster of three roses with three pendants below. Sir John's collar is somewhat similarly formed of rosette-shaped ornaments. An early instance of a heavy neck-chain of gold, worn upon the breast, is to be seen upon the famous tapestry, considered to represent Henry VI and his Queen, in St. Mary's Hall, Coventry.

Collars of extraordinary richness seem to have been worn by Henry IV; for among the miscellaneous documents preserved at St. Paul's Cathedral[58] is a list of various jewels set with diamonds both large and small, with balas rubies, sapphires, and clusters of pearls, which were to be employed for making collars for the king and queen. The Inventories of the Exchequer contain frequent reference to what is termed the Iklyngton Coler. This magnificent collar, which {116} was frequently pawned by Henry VI, was enriched with four rubies, four large sapphires, thirty-two great pearls, and fifty-three pearls of a lesser sort.[59]

In addition to the purely ornamental necklaces, collars or chains of "livery"—bearing the heraldic devices of the day—were assumed by various royal and noble families, and were bestowed as marks of favour or friendship on persons of various ranks, and both sexes, who wore them as badges of adherence to those families. An instance of the bestowal of a chain of this kind occurred in 1477 after the siege of Quesnoy by Louis XI, who, witnessing a great feat of gallantry on the part of Raoul de Lannoy, is reported to have placed on his neck a chain of great value, and to have thus wittily addressed him: "Mon ami, vous êtes trop furieux en un combat; il faut vous enchaîner, car je ne veux point vous perdre, désirant me servir encore de vous plusieurs fois."

Richard II, as shown by the Earl of Pembroke's remarkable picture of that monarch at Wilton, wore, in addition to his device the white hart, a collar of broom-pods. Henry IV employed the well-known collar of SS, derived from his father John of Gaunt. The collar of Edward IV was composed of two of his badges, the sun in its splendour, and the white rose; while a third, the white lion of March, was added as a pendant. Richard III retained the Yorkist collar, substituting for the lion pendant a boar.[60] Private family collars were also worn, and an early instance of one occurs in the brass of Thomas Lord Berkeley (1417) in the church of Wootton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire; the band round the neck being charged with mermaids, the badge of the Berkeleys.

The SS collar is the best known of all. It is composed of the letter S in gold repeated indefinitely, either fixed on velvet or some material, or forming {117} the links of a chain. The letters are generally united by knots; they sometimes terminate with portcullises and have a pendent rose. The collar is still worn by the Lord Chief Justice, the Lord Mayor of London, and the chief heralds—that belonging to the Lord Mayor being an original and beautiful example of English jewellery of the sixteenth century. Despite all that has been written upon the SS collar no conclusive explanation has been offered as to its origin and meaning.[61] Several representations of livery collars appear upon monumental effigies of the latter half of the fifteenth century, and there is frequent mention of them in the inventories of the same period, but, with the exception of the SS collar, they are not met with at all in the sixteenth century.

image

Necklace worn by the daughter of Tommaso Portinari in Van der Goes' triptych in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.


{118}

CHAPTER XV

MEDIÆVAL PENDANTS, ROSARIES, AND POMANDERS

THE wearing of religious emblems in the form of pendants by the Christians of the Middle Ages was possibly, in the first place, the unconscious perpetuation of pagan superstition. The demand for a convenient mode of carrying a reliquary may account in some degree for the use of necklaces in early times.

Relics of the saints and of the Passion of our Lord were most eagerly sought after by mediæval Christendom, and whenever a relic of unusual importance was obtained, all the resources of the art of the time were employed to give it a worthy setting. The most famous of early pendent reliquaries was that worn by the Emperor Charlemagne, which contained relics from the Crown of Thorns and the True Cross, presented to him by Haroun al-Raschid. The reliquary was buried with him in 814, and found at the opening of his tomb at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1169. In 1804 it was given to the Emperor Napoleon by the clergy of Aix, and was afterwards the property of Napoleon III; but it disappeared during the troublous times that terminated the Second Empire. The relics were enclosed under a large sapphire magnificently set in gold and precious stones[62] (Pl. XVIII, 4). Another historical relic of the early Middle Ages was the enamelled gold cross suspended {119} from a chain, which was stolen from the tomb of Edward the Confessor in Westminster Abbey in 1685 and given to James II. It was only lost sight of in the early part of the nineteenth century.[63]

Portable reliquaries in former times were often made of two plates of rock crystal or other transparent stones hinged together so as to form a box. An exquisite example of this style of ornament, and one of the most remarkable mediæval jewels, is the so-called reliquary of St. Louis in the British Museum. It is of gold, set with two large bean-shaped amethysts which act as covers to an inner case with a lid, enclosing what purports to be a spike from the Crown of Thorns. The back of this receptacle, as well as the insides of the covers, is enriched with minute translucent enamels representing the Crucifixion and other scenes from the Passion and the life of Christ (Pl. XVIII, 5). The jewel is said to have been given by St. Louis (who bought the Crown of Thorns from Baldwin, King of Jerusalem) to a king of Aragon, but the style of the work is somewhat later than the time of St. Louis, and dates from about the year 1310. It was formerly in the collection of Baron Pichon, and was presented to the British Museum by Mr. George Salting in 1902.

The pendent ornaments of the Middle Ages not only served as receptacles for relics but also took the form of crosses, medallions, votive tablets, and monograms. Though these do not attain the same importance as the pendants of the Renaissance, their extraordinary variety is proved by the inventories of the thirteenth to the fifteenth century, while their beauty is attested by the few examples that have fortunately been preserved. Small votive tablets, that is to say diptychs or triptychs with hinged wings, were exceedingly {120} popular as personal ornaments, judging by their frequent occurrence in the inventories under the title of tableau or tabulet. They were suspended from the girdle or neck-chain. Some are painted with delicate translucent enamels, others contain figures in high relief wrought in metal, or carvings in boxwood of minute dimensions. The last are generally Flemish, while the others of which there are several splendid examples in the Victoria and Albert Museum, are mostly of French or of English workmanship. A very remarkable silver-gilt pendant in the form of the Devil of temptation, with the forbidden fruit in one hand and a crozier, signifying power, in the other, is shown on Plate XIX, 9. It is Burgundian work of the second half of the fifteenth century, and is the property of Mrs. Percy Macquoid.

An interesting class of pendants is formed by a somewhat extensive series of silver and silver-gilt ornaments produced by German craftsmen of the fifteenth century. The National Museum at Munich, where several fine examples of this kind are preserved, possesses one of more than ordinary interest. It is of silver-gilt, about five inches in length, composed of elaborate Gothic tracery, in shape not unlike the tall Gothic tabernacles of South Germany, of which that by Adam Kraft in St. Lawrence's Church at Nuremberg is perhaps the finest example. A niche on each of its four sides contains the figure of a saint and above, half hidden among the tracery, are four female figures. The jewel is surmounted by the Virgin and Child, and has three rings above for suspension and one below (Pl. XIX, 1). Other examples of South German goldsmith's work of the fifteenth and early sixteenth century take the form of small pendent charms picturing some religious theme. The figure of a saint was naturally a favourite subject, since it was supposed to possess special prophylactic powers. The variety of the subjects {121} thus represented can be admirably judged from an important series of such pendants at South Kensington. In addition to these, which are mostly of cast silver, other pendants of the same period include silver plaques, nielloed, engraved, or in relief; and likewise fine cameos or reliefs of mother-of-pearl, and carvings in ivory and wood, set in coronets of silver-gilt.

PLATE XVIII

image mediæval pendants
(reliquaries, etc.)

Mediæval neck-pendants were, as has been observed, known as pentacols. In the inventory of Edward III in 1339[64] we find a pentacol composed of a large Scotch pearl (perle d'Escoce) and an image of Our Lady in enamel; and "un pentacol dor od. iiij. petites ameraldes et iiij. petites rubies environ, et une camahue en mylieu." In mediæval inventories and wills the Latin word monile signified not only a necklace, but jewels hung at the neck. The same term was also employed for the morse, particularly when the latter had a ring for suspension. Many pendants generally provided with quatrefoil rings, come from South Germany (like one shown on Plate XVIII, 1) and especially from Bohemia—there is a good collection of them in the cathedral treasury of Prague.[65] The majority are silver-gilt, and set with a plaque of mother-of-pearl or crystal, and are usually hollow, to contain relics. The term monile was further applied to brooches or nouches; and the nouches described in such detail in the English inventories of the fifteenth century, which will be mentioned later when the subject of brooches is dealt with, may in part have been employed as ornaments for the necklace.

Various monilia or pendants, containing small relics, verses from the Bible, the names of Christ or the Virgin written upon vellum or upon metal, and perhaps also ancient magic spells—all possessing the virtues of talismans, were worn by chains or cords round the neck, {122} and in some instances very likely hidden under the upper garment. The early Church, in many an edict, declared itself against this form of superstition, yet such pendants or phylacteries—a term applied to any amulet worn about the person against evil of all kinds—appear to have been extensively used. Another and popular pendant from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century, which is frequently cited in inventories, but now rarely met with, takes the form of a small circular box or capsule bearing in front an Agnus Dei in niello or repoussé, surrounded by a corded edging. Such boxes were intended for the preservation of a roundel of wax moulded from the remains of the Paschal candle at Rome with an impression of the sacred Lamb, and blessed by the Pope for distribution to the faithful. The cases, of silver-gilt, have occasionally a covering of transparent horn on the back and front. An example of this kind, of fifteenth-century German workmanship, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum (Pl. XIX, 3). The wax it contains bears the name of Pope Urban VI (1378-1389). An original stamp of bronze, of Italian origin, dating from the fourteenth century, which was used for making these wax impressions, is preserved in the British Museum along with other moulds for casting medals and small articles of jewellery.

In addition to the precious and semi-precious stones already mentioned, other objects, accounted specially efficacious for certain purposes, were worn. The peres de eagle, also called ætites, supposed to be found in the nest of the eagle, were particularly valuable during childbirth. Glossopetræ, the fossilised teeth of certain kinds of shark, which passed as serpents' teeth, were much used, as well as primitive arrowheads. They were hung round the neck of infants in the belief that they assisted dentition and kept off frights. Of great value also was the bezoar stone, which, like glossopetræ, at one time occupied a prominent {123} place in pharmacopœia. Coral, which has always been popular, is first mentioned in English wills and inventories in the fourteenth century. It was used for rosaries, and, above all, as a charm—a ring of gold or silver being attached to its stalk. The Romans tied little branches of it round their children's necks to ward off the evil eye; and the infant Saviour in many an early Italian picture is represented wearing a piece of coral in a similar manner.[66]

A fear of poison, common for centuries in royal courts, was responsible for the custom of testing meats and drinks by methods founded upon certain ancient and groundless beliefs. In order to neutralise or detect the presence of poison, certain objects were placed in contact with food or were dipped into liquids. The touching-pieces (tousches) or proofs (espreuves) employed for the purpose, and considered especially efficacious against poison, were toadstones, glossopetræ, serpentine, jasper, agate and particularly the unicorn's horn. What was foisted upon the credulous public as the horn of the fabled animal was in reality the horn or tusk of a fish—the narwhal or sea-unicorn of the northern seas. Being an object of very great value, the horn was only occasionally kept entire, like the one preserved to this day at New College, Oxford. It was more usually cut into pieces and used as "proofs."

An angry unicorne in his full career
Charge with too swift foot a jeweller
That watched him for the treasure of his brow,
And ere he could get shelter of a tree,
Nail him with his rich antler to the earth.[67]

These and other objects, when worn upon the person, as was generally the practice, were mounted at one end, or surrounded by a claw-like band of silver.

{124} Another object which occupied an important position in the Middle Ages and often received special attention at the hands of the goldsmith was the rosary. It was suspended occasionally from the neck, but was more often worn upon the wrist, at the girdle, or attached to a finger ring, and was formed of a string of beads of various sizes and materials representing Aves, Paternosters, and Glorias: each bead receiving the name of the prayer it represented. The rosary, as at the present day, was divided into decades of Aves, each decade being preceded by a Paternoster and followed by a Gloria. The materials of which they were composed are well illustrated in the inventory[68] of the jewels belonging to Adam Ledyard, a London jeweller in 1381. It includes: "4 sets of paternosters of white amber; 16 sets of paternosters of amber; 5 sets of paternosters of coral and geet [jet]; 6 sets of aves of geet, and paternosters of silver-gilt; 38 sets of aves of geet, with gaudees of silver-gilt; 14 sets of aves of blue glass, with paternosters of silver-gilt; 28 sets of paternosters of geet; 15 sets of paternosters of mazer; and 5 sets of paternosters of white bone for children."

The makers of these beads were termed paternosterers; and Paternoster Row and Ave Maria Lane were so called from the "turners of beads" who resided there. In Paris, as early as the thirteenth century, the commerce in rosaries was a most flourishing one, and it was customary there to divide the makers or dealers in these articles into three categories—paternosterers of bone and horn, of coral and mother-of-pearl, and of amber and jet. In England the rosary makers do not seem to have been so specialised.

PLATE XIX

image mediæval pendants

The larger beads were sometimes of gold, silver, and silver-gilt, of open-work, beautifully chased and engraved, and of boxwood and ivory exquisitely carved. {125} The "gaudees" or "gauds" in the above quotation, the ornaments or trinkets attached to the rosary, were commonly in the form of a crucifix, while the small German charms mentioned above (p. 120) were mostly employed for the same purpose. Of the spherical-shaped gauds or nuts pendent to the rosary, called in French grains de chapelet and known in Germany as Betnüsse, many fine examples exist in boxwood. They have often an open-work case which opens with a hinge, and displays two hemispheres filled with a number of carved figures of minute proportions.

Among the many forms assumed by mediæval pendants were those of fruits—generally apples or pears. These fruit-shaped pendants, containing either figures or relics, were exceedingly popular. They were carried in the purse or attached to the rosary or to the girdle, or in the case of men, were hung from the neck by a cord or chain; and were constructed so as to be opened during devotions. One of the most remarkable examples is in the Waddesdon Bequest at the British Museum.[69]

The use of perfumes prevailed at all periods of the Middle Ages. They were enclosed in various receptacles, and especially in those shaped like a pear or apple. These pendent scent cases or pomanders, worn like other pendants of the same form, were in general use throughout the whole of the period extending from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century. Pomander in early inventories is often spelt pomeambre, indicating its derivation from pomme d'ambre, a perfume apple or ball; the word pomme being used for any object resembling an apple in shape, and ambre[70] for perfume in {126} general. Primarily the pomander seems often to have designated a ball composed of various highly scented substances which served the purpose both of counteracting the smells which must have been particularly general and offensive in olden days, and also of protecting against infection. It was enclosed in a rich metal case, opening across the centre, and perforated so as to allow the scent to escape. The title "pomander"—originally meaning simply a scent or perfume ball—was given to the case which contained it. In many instances, the perfumes, instead of being mixed together into a ball, were placed in the pomander case each in a separate compartment, the lids of which are found inscribed with the names of the contents. These compartments, varying in number from four to as many as sixteen, are formed like segments of an orange. They are hinged below, and united at the top by a screw or pin, which being removed, allows the segments to open out (Pl. XVIII, 3).

image Pomander.
From Kreuterbuch (Frankfort, 1569).

{127}

CHAPTER XVI

MEDIÆVAL BROOCHES—THE RING-BROOCH

THE brooches or fibulæ hitherto considered have been constructed either with a spring pin or acus, which was held in its place by a hook or catch, or with a hinged acus, which, having pierced the material, was fixed similarly by a catch, and prevented by the weight of the garment from becoming unloosened. The term fibula, generally employed by archæologists to denote all early brooches, has so far been applied only to the dress-fasteners of classical times; and though the word brooch (from the French broche, meaning a spit) was not introduced into England until after the Norman Conquest, it is for the sake of clearness used here to describe what are generally known among Anglo-Saxon ornaments as fibulæ.

In later Roman times, and among the Irish and Anglo-Saxons, the ring-brooch was sometimes formed with an opening on one side, and the pin or acus, which was not hinged, but moved freely to any part of the ring, having been passed through the tissue, was brought through this opening. The ring was then turned till the pin rested upon its rim.

At the time of the Norman Conquest the opening of the brooch is closed, the ring becomes flat and has a pin of the same length as its diameter. Instead of running loosely, the pin is hinged upon a constriction of the ring and it either traverses the tissue which has {128} been brought through the latter, or a band is passed over it from beneath the sides of the ring. When the portions of the garment thus connected are drawn back, the pin falls across the front of the ring and is held securely in its place. This ring-brooch was known as the fermail (Latin firmaculum, signifying a clasp)—a term employed both in old French and old English inventories.

The ring-brooch was worn by both sexes. It appears on the monumental effigy of Richard Cœur de Lion at Rouen, on that of Berengaria his queen at Le Mans, and on several of the thirteenth-century sculptures on the west front of Wells Cathedral. It served to gather up the fulness of the surcoat on the breast of the knight, as shown by the effigy, known as that of William Mareschel the Elder, Earl of Pembroke, in the Temple Church; but was generally used to close the opening in the robes at the throat of either sex and is seen thus on many effigies of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.[71]

Among the few examples of mediæval jewellery that have survived, brooches and finger rings predominate. Brooches differ slightly according to the nationality to which they belong: those of English origin forming of themselves a class of considerable variety and extent. The earliest were circles of small diameter and narrow frame, either plain, or decorated with simple designs. Mystic words and letters were subsequently added; but as the brooch became larger, amatory mottoes took their place. Religious formulæ were also employed, particularly in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, when the brooch reached its full development.

The various inscriptions and designs engraved on mediæval brooches are of great interest. The majority of inscriptions are mottoes in French, such as were frequently employed as posies upon rings and other {129} love-gifts. An inscription which occurs more than once is io . svi . ici . en . liev . dami. Another chanson, reading thus in modern French—Je suis ici, à toi voici, is found on several brooches in the British Museum.

The dainty Prioress, Madame Eglentine, in the prologue of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales wore—

... a broche of gold ful shene,
On whiche was first y-written a crouned A,
And after, Amor vincit omnia.

The popularity of this last motto on the personal ornaments of the Middle Ages may be attributed to its supposed influence as a love-charm. A considerable number of legends are of a religious character, with allusions to the Virgin and Saviour while a few are talismanic, and contain inscriptions such as the names of the Kings of the East.

Ring-brooches, though generally circular, show a variety of other shapes, such as hearts, trefoils, lozenges, etc. A heart-shaped brooch of fine workmanship in chased and engraved gold is in the Victoria and Albert Museum. It appears to be French and of the fifteenth century. Upon its back is the inscription—Nostre et tout ditz a vostre [d]esir.

The brooches worn by the wealthy are often magnificent examples of jewellery, enriched with gems set in delicate goldwork. A number of the existing brooches are of such diminutive size—less than half an inch in diameter—that they could only have been employed for fastening the very thinnest tissue. The larger gold ring-brooches, of fine workmanship and set with precious stones, are of great rarity. In the British Museum are several choice specimens: the finest, formerly in the Londesborough Collection, dates from the fourteenth century. It is mounted with pearls, cabochon sapphires and emeralds, arranged in a variety of settings, and further enriched with four bosses carved {130} and pierced in the forms of dragons and cockatrices. A remarkable brooch of the thirteenth century, also from a well-known collection, that of Baron Pichon, is preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum. It is a circular gold ring two inches in diameter, enriched with four sapphires and six rubies in high cone-like settings formed of simple sheets of metal wrapped round the stones. The bases of these collets are hidden on the inner side by an encircling wreath of vine leaves delicately cut and stamped in gold. The back is ornamented with a leaf design in niello. There is a somewhat similar brooch, though only a fragment, in the Gem Room of the British Museum.

A gold brooch also dating from the thirteenth century, and, like the majority, of French workmanship, is in the Carrand Collection in the Museo Nazionale (Bargello), Florence. This fine example, formerly in the Debruge Collection, is decorated with exquisite Gothic foliage in naturalistic style, and with figures of two lions in full relief. It is set with two large rubies and four small emeralds. In the same collection is an extremely interesting brooch, likewise French, and of the fourteenth century. A flat ring of gold 1¼ inches in diameter is ornamented with concentric rings of enamel, the two outer being blue and the inner white. Upon the latter, in letters reserved in the gold, is the inscription iesus autem traisiens per med.,[72] which occurs also on the cameo of Charles V at Paris, and was held by those who bore it to possess a prophylactic virtue. The brooch is further ornamented with four vernicles[73] engraved with exquisite feeling at equal distances upon its surface (Pl. XX, 2).

PLATE XX

image mediæval brooches
(ring-brooches, etc.)

Though comparatively many existing brooches are {131} of gold, a great quantity were formerly produced not only in silver, but in baser metals, such as iron, copper, and lead or pewter. How large was the demand for brooches of these materials can be gauged from a French writer of the thirteenth century, Jean de Garlande, a poet and grammarian, who in his Latin vocabulary refers to brooch-makers as a special class of craftsmen, who, apart from goldsmiths, were sufficiently numerous to bear the title of fermailleurs[74]—makers of fermails. To about the end of the fifteenth century belongs a satirical poem printed in London with the title Cocke Lorelles Bote, where "latten workers and broche makers" are specially mentioned among the London crafts or trades. The manufacture of the finest brooches, however, was always reserved for the goldsmiths—a fact indicated by the quartering of brooches on the arms of the Goldsmiths' Company.

There would be no justification for any general reference to mediæval ring-brooches that omitted to give some account of those worn in Scotland. Brooches formed an indispensable accessory to the Highland dress of both sexes, in that they served to fix upon the shoulder an invariable article of clothing of the Highlanders—the Scottish plaid. In the latest development of the Scottish brooch of the Celtic type, the pin, as has been observed, is hinged upon the ring, and after piercing the garment is held in its place by a catch at the back of the brooch. Upon the introduction of the ring-brooch with a pin equal to the diameter of the ring, this mode of fastening was only in very few cases retained, and preference in general was given to the English manner of adjustment.

The earliest form of the Scottish ring-brooch, which dates from about the thirteenth century, is a flattened circular ring, upon which talismanic inscriptions in Latin, generally of a religious character, almost invariably {132} appear. These, together with some traces of Gothic design, last throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. After this period the knowledge of Latin seems to decrease, for it is rendered so barbarously on the sixteenth-century brooches as to be almost unintelligible. On the later brooches the decoration is purely ornamental, with interlaced work and foliaceous scrolls, and brooches of this type, on which the character of an earlier period is retained, were made as late as the eighteenth century. The designs of the silver brooches were produced by engraving accompanied by niello work; those of the brass brooches usually by engraving alone.

The National Museum of Antiquities at Edinburgh possesses a large and important collection of Scottish brooches, while a few Highland families have preserved for many generations massive silver brooches of elaborate workmanship. Formerly in the possession of the Campbells of Glenlyon, and now in the British Museum, is a brooch known as the Glenlyon brooch. It dates from about the fifteenth century. It is about 3½ inches in width, and is formed of a flat ring set with pearls on tall cone-shaped turrets, alternating with crystals and pieces of amethyst. Across the centre is a richly decorated bar, upon which rest the points of two pins attached to the edge of the ring. On the back of the brooch, in black-letter, is the favourite inscription of mediæval amulets: caspar . melchior . baltazar . consumatum. The last word, the declaration of the dying Saviour, "It is finished," was often inscribed upon brooches and other ornaments of the Middle Ages, as were likewise the Angelic Salutation, the titulus i.n.r.i., and other so-called caracts, all of which were considered to possess some talismanic efficacy.

PLATE XXI

image mediæval scottish brooches
(the glenlyon and loch buy brooches)

In many cases the open space in the middle of the ring, as in modern brooches, was filled up, and in the {133} early examples was sometimes occupied by a turret-like ornamentation set with a crystal, while obelisks rising from the ring of the brooch were set with polished stones such as cairngorms (still popular on Scottish jewellery), or with Scottish pearls.

The finest examples of this type of brooch are known as the "brooch of Lorn," the "Ugadale brooch," and the "Loch Buy brooch." The brooch of Lorn, still in the possession of the lineal descendants of the Macdougals of Lorn, dates from the fifteenth century. It consists of a disc of silver 4½ inches in diameter, enriched with filigree. In the centre is a raised capsule crowned with a large rock crystal, and round the ring of the brooch a circle of eight obelisks. The Ugadale brooch, the property of the Macneals of Firfergus, is of somewhat similar nature, save that the turrets, eight in number, are towards the centre of the brooch and arranged close round the raised crystal. The Loch Buy brooch, of more elaborate workmanship, is likewise surmounted by a cabochon crystal on a raised dais. On the ring, within a low border, are ten tall turrets, each surmounted with a Scottish pearl. This famous brooch, long in the possession of the Macleans of Loch Buy in the Isle of Mull, came later into the collection of Ralph Bernal, one of the first and most eminent of latter-day connoisseurs, at whose sale in 1855 it was purchased by the British Museum.

In addition to the Highland circular brooches, a considerable number in the shape of hearts have been found in Scotland, sometimes surmounted with a crown, and in a few instances set with jewels (p. 165). They were mostly love-tokens and betrothal gifts, and many of them bear on the reverse the word love. Brooches of this form are known as "Luckenbooth" brooches, from their having been commonly sold in the Luckenbooths, the street stalls around St. Giles' Church on the High Street, Edinburgh.

{134} The use of the word Luckenbooth calls to mind the fact that the goldsmiths of Paris also worked and dwelt in booths, which as late as the fourteenth century were situated on the Pont du Change and the Pont Nôtre Dame. In this connection it is worth noticing that in England, as well as in France and Scotland, the working goldsmiths, like the followers of other trades, occupied distinct quarters by themselves, and they had in London one part of the Chepe set apart for them to dwell and trade in. The custom of the various crafts thus confining themselves to particular quarters, which is of remote antiquity, greatly facilitated the formation and government of trade guilds.

image A mediæval lapidary.
From Ortus Sanitatis
(Strasburg, about 1497).

{135}

CHAPTER XVII

MEDIÆVAL BROOCHES (continued)—PECTORALS

ANOTHER species of brooch peculiar to the Middle Ages is the pectoral, an article for fastening on to the middle of the breast. It is similar to our modern brooch, but differs in that it did not always serve to hold the dress together. In earlier centuries it was often sewn on the garment, and was only occasionally supplied with a pin. It was worn by both sexes, as well as by ecclesiastics, who appear to have borne in mind the chief ornament worn by the Jewish High Priest.

The earliest and most remarkable example of this class is the great gold pectoral—the Eagle Fibula it is termed—found in 1880 at Mainz—that ancient and historical Rhenish city, known in former times from its commercial prosperity as "Goldene Mainz," which has proved extraordinarily rich in discoveries dating from classical and early mediæval periods. This famous jewel, both on account of its size (4 by 3⅝ inches) and good state of preservation, probably deserves to rank first among all golden ornaments that have come down to us from the early Middle Ages. "Its composition," says Herr Luthmer, "is extremely clear and conscious. An eagle, of heraldic form, it is true, but not with any of that unnatural emaciation peculiar to the later style of heraldry, fills the inner circle of a flat ring of stamped gold enriched with beaded filigree, which at its upper {136} end—in order to give space for the head of the bird—is not closed, but connected by a curve in the circle of wire. The eight flowers inserted in the open-work of the ring, as well as the whole form of the eagle with the exception of the claws, are filled with cloisonné enamel which unfortunately has disappeared from the body of the eagle, where only the punctured outlines of the feathers are perceptible upon the plate of gold. Otherwise the enamel, made of translucent green and blue, turquoise-blue, white and yellow, has been preserved in all its freshness."[75] This pectoral dates from the commencement of the twelfth century, and is one of the chief treasures in the rich collection of antiquities preserved in the Mainz Museum.

Jewels of this species and of this period are of the utmost rarity. Another very beautiful example was discovered at Mainz just five years after the Eagle Fibula, and is now in the collection of Baron von Heyl zu Herrnsheim at Worms. It is formed of repoussé gold, and represents an eagle standing upon a branch rolled up at both ends. A fine sapphire occupies the middle of the breast, in the centre of the wings are emeralds, the tail is set with lapis-lazuli, and the eye of the bird with a small ruby. This exquisite jewel dates from the early part of the thirteenth century. It measures 2⅛ inches in height and 1⅝ inches in width.[76] The most remarkable among jewels of about the same date (the twelfth century) are the splendid antique cameos already described—the Cameo of St. Hilary in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, and the Schaffhausen Onyx—both of which were originally employed as pectorals or brooches.

PLATE XXII

image mediæval brooches
(pectorals and morse)

A few brooches are attached, as was once the jewel of St. Hilary, as ex voto on the breast of reliquary figures, like that of St. Foy at Conques, which still {137} exhibits an ornament of this kind. A brooch or fermail (for this latter term is not confined to the ring-brooch), 1¾ inches in diameter, which once formed part of the ancient jewels of the French Crown, is in the Galerie d'Apollon of the Louvre.[77] Two exceedingly fine brooches of about the end of the twelfth century, found at Mainz in 1896 and now in the treasury of the cathedral, are described by Dr. Schneider in the Jahrbuch der Königlich Preussischen Kunstsammlungen (Vol. XVIII); and a pectoral or brooch of a similar form, a large stone in the centre, surrounded by smaller ones—to take only one among many examples—is represented on the twelfth-century statue of a queen, probably intended for the Queen of Sheba, from the west portal of the church of Our Lady of Corbeil, and now at Saint-Denis.

In the case of original jewels of this kind, it is not always easy to determine whether they were articles of adornment for the clergy or the laity, and though those for ecclesiastical use probably predominate, it is only when they contain the figured representation of some religious subject that they can with certainty be identified as cope-clasps or morses, the French equivalent for which is mors de chape.

Morses were frequently of extraordinary size. Monumental brasses and tombstones, especially in Germany, exhibit many examples. Adalbert of Saxony, who was administrator of the archbishopric of Mainz, and died in 1484, is represented on his tombstone in the cathedral with one measuring more than 7 inches across. Existing examples vary from 5 to 7 inches in breadth.

The jewellers of the Middle Ages delighted in lavishing their utmost taste and skill on morses, which were of a variety of shapes, and were composed of every material. Some were enriched with precious {138} stones, including ancient cameos, and others rendered attractive with coloured enamels.

Several lists of English morses are preserved. In the inventory of Sarum,[78] of the year 1222, gold, silver, and jewelled morses, firmacula, pectoralia, or monilia (as they were variously termed in the Middle Ages) are described at length; in that of St. Paul's,[79] drawn up in 1295, there are no less than twenty-eight; while the inventory of jewels (jocalia) preserved in York Minster[80] in 1500 includes an extraordinarily rich collection of these ornaments.

Though some were clearly made fast to one side of the garment, and were hitched to the other by hooks, or by a pin, like a brooch, they were not always employed to unite the two sides, but were sometimes used simply as a decoration upon the front of the vestment, and perhaps hung there by a chain round the neck.[81] Examples to be found in many museums are pierced with holes, or have loops behind them, showing that they were sewn to the vestment with purely decorative purpose.

From the close of the twelfth century champlevé enamel upon copper was much employed for the decoration of morses. In the fourteenth century champlevé was largely superseded by transparent enamel on silver relief (basse-taille), many of the finest specimens of which were produced in Italy. Two fine morses displaying this species of work are preserved; the one in the British Museum[82] and the other at South Kensington.

The use of ancient cameos as personal ornaments has already been mentioned; and there is in the British Museum a mediæval intaglio, the finest of its kind, which {139} was used as a morse. It is known as the Crystal of Lothair, since it was made, in all probability, for Lothair II, King of the Franks from 855 to 869. It is a lenticular plaque of rock crystal, 4½ inches in diameter, engraved in intaglio,[83] with the history of Susanna.[84]

Public collections at home and abroad possess a variety of examples of Gothic morses of exquisite design. One of the most remarkable of German workmanship of the fourteenth century is in the Musée Cluny at Paris;[85] while among the finest German jewels of the fifteenth century must be ranked a morse of beautiful execution in the Victoria and Albert Museum.[86] Other noteworthy examples are, three in the treasury of the cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle, one of them[87] containing a representation of the Annunciation—a subject which, judging from the inventories, appears to have been a very favourite one for the purpose, particularly in England. Three more are in Paris: one—the beautiful morse of St. Louis—in the Galerie d'Apollon,[88] a second in the Rothschild Bequest[89] in the Louvre, and a third in the Dutuit Bequest.[90] In the Kunstgewerbe Museum at Berlin is a silver-gilt morse which was made in the year 1484 for Albert von Letelen, canon of Minden, by the goldsmith Reinecke van Dressche of Minden. It is a circular disc 5½ inches in diameter, filled with three elaborate Gothic tabernacles, each containing a figure. Entirely symmetrical in composition, it follows a design commonly found on the seals of the same date (Pl. XXII, 3).

{140} An excellent idea of the extraordinary beauty of the morses in use at the close of the Middle Ages can be obtained from fifteenth-century paintings, particularly of the Flemish school. Few of the latter can surpass what is one of its finest examples in the National Gallery—Gerard David's beautiful picture of the "Canon and his Patron Saints," in which are displayed, in almost all their pristine freshness, some of the most magnificent representations of the jeweller's art.

Besides these pectorals, which sometimes served a practical, but often a purely decorative purpose, there were various other ornaments that acted as clasps (agrafes). These agrafes are similar to those still made use of in our day, working on a system of a hook fitting into a loop. Clasps for mantles were sometimes made of massive loops fastened on either side of the border of the mantle, like parts of a hinge, which could be clasped by a pin being thrust through them, or by a cord or strap.

image Mantle clasp (portion) on effigy of Henry IV (Canterbury Cathedral).

A heavy ornamental mantle was often worn by both sexes over the dress. It was open in front, and displayed the dress underneath. Upon its opposite edges were fixed two ornamental rosettes or lozenges, connected by cords terminating in tassels, or by a band across the breast. In the case of ceremonious attire this band was of metal, profusely jewelled, while the ornamental pieces or clasps at each end were of elaborate goldwork set with precious stones. On the monumental effigy of Henry IV in the Chapel of St. Thomas à Becket, at Canterbury Cathedral, the cloak is secured by a rich band fastened at each end by {141} diamond-shaped clasps of fine design. Henry's Queen, Joanna of Navarre, who lies beside him, has clasps of almost the same form, fixed near the shoulders, and united by a simple band. Somewhat similar ornaments, rosette-shaped, can be seen on the effigy of Anne of Bohemia, first wife of Richard II, in Westminster Abbey.

Since the pectoral is sometimes worn together with these clasps, it is evident that it often had nothing to do with closing the mantle; but when a pin is attached behind, and it is employed for secular purposes, it assumes the ordinary type of the modern brooch.

The English word for this smaller and secular variety of morse, which is distinct from the fermail or ring-brooch, was nouch.[91] It was also called ouch, by misdivision of a nouch as an ouch, and was variously spelt nuche, nowche, owche, etc. That the nouch is the actual English equivalent to the morse or pectoral is proved by a will dated 1400,[92] in which among the jewels bequeathed to the shrine of the Head of St. William of York was "unum monile, Anglicè nouche auri, cum uno saphire in medio, et j. dyamand desuper, et circumpositum cum pereles et emeraudes." Nouches were attached to the front of the garment, but were occasionally worn upon the shoulder. On the effigy of Henry II, at Fontevraud, and on that of Henry III[93] in the Chapel of Edward the Confessor at Westminster Abbey, the mantle in each case is fastened upon the right shoulder with a brooch of this kind.

It would be an almost impossible task to describe all the motives selected for the English brooches of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, their numerous compositions {142} of human figures and animals of all sorts, and the various stones with which they were set. The old inventories give endless descriptions, but hardly any actual examples, apart from the ring-brooches and William of Wykeham's magnificent nouch at New College, have survived. In the British Museum is a silver-gilt brooch in form of St. Christopher leaning on his staff and bearing the infant Saviour on his shoulder. It is of fifteenth-century workmanship, 2¾ inches long, and was found at Kingston-on-Thames (Pl. XX, 7). This brooch is of peculiar interest, since in the Canterbury Tales that worn by the "Yeman" is described as "A Crystofre on his brest of silvyr shene."

Brooches and nouches, mentioned frequently in the English inventories of the fourteenth century, became even more numerous and elaborate in the century following. Foreign influence, strong at this period, left its imprint upon all works of art; and the most extensive commerce was carried on with Flanders, which was then the workshop of the world. Yet though the following descriptions of brooches drawn from the inventory of Henry IV in the Inventories of the Exchequer[94] show a striking similarity to the continental jewels of the same date, there is no reason to suppose that these were not actually produced in England by English workmen. Five nouches, probably very similar in form to the splendid jewel at New College, Oxford, and dating approximately from the same period, are thus recorded: "Item v. nouches de letres M apparellez de perles et diverses peres de petit value." Other brooches exhibit a variety of forms: "Item i. gant nouche dun griffon seisant un deyme ove i. saphir en my lieu iij. baleys et vi. grosses perles"; "Item i. nouche [dor] ove i. damoysell es blancz flours portant i. papingey en la mayn apparellez ove i. baleys iij. saphis iij. troches de perles ove trois diamantz contrifaitz." Similarly enriched {143} jewels have for their subjects: "i. enfant dor et i. blanc deime enaymellez"; "i. damoisell et i. unicorn [dor]"; and "un damoisell seant en un solaill." Finally we meet with the following entry: "Item i. nouche d'un aungell blanc tenant en sa mayn un saphir feble garnisez de vi. perles enterfoiles."

Of all the immense wealth of jewellery of the Dukes of Burgundy in the fifteenth century almost every vestige has disappeared, and the public museums of the Continent are practically destitute of Flemish-Burgundian jewellery of this date. Yet the British Museum, through the generosity of the late Sir A. W. Franks, is in fortunate possession of several exquisite examples, which were dredged a few years ago from the bed of the River Meuse. The most remarkable is a gold brooch of delicate workmanship, the centre of which is occupied by a female figure: a garland encircles her head, a flower set with a small triangular diamond adorns her breast, while her hands hold in front a large faceted sapphire. Around, in the midst of foliage, are three cabochon rubies, and the settings of other stones and pearls which have disappeared (Pl. XX, 11). The form of this jewel is peculiarly interesting in comparison with the above-quoted aungell tenant en sa mayn un saphir of the inventory of Henry IV. A smaller circular brooch of similar fabrique has a diamond above and a pale ruby below, and is encircled by radiating buds of flowers, the centre of each bud being formed of a ball of white enamel.

Of the few examples of jewels of similar character that exist at the present day upon the Continent, there is in the treasury of the Collegiate Church of Essen in Rhenish Prussia, amongst several fine objects of the goldsmith's art, a remarkable and comparatively unknown collection of enamelled jewels of the fifteenth century.[95] Each of the sixteen objects of the series {144} possesses what appears to be a characteristic of most jewels of this date—that is to say, it is enclosed by an encircling wreath-like ornament of the naturalistic late Gothic style formed of a circular tube of gold to which are affixed leaves of stamped gold, enamelled and enriched with pearls. The centres of the jewels are occupied by a variety of motives. Seven are of a purely formal composition, enriched with small white flowers, the stalks of which, covered with green enamel, resemble with their interlacing design the necklace worn by Maria Portinari in the Van der Goes triptych at Florence. The remaining and more elaborate jewels contain enamelled figures of men and animals executed with extraordinary minuteness and vivacity. The finest, and on the whole the best preserved, has in the centre a female figure in full relief clothed in a white robe and long green cloak and a head-dress in the form of leaves. She is seated in a field sewn with flowers in the manner of the pictures of the period, and behind are golden rays[96] (Pl. XX, 9). The figure upon another jewel has a somewhat similar background. Her robe is white, and her head-dress and the edges of her wing-like sleeves red. In front of both figures is a small cluster of precious stones. Though all the objects in this remarkable collection are of about the same date, they differ sufficiently to make it clear that, like the treasures from Saragossa, they owe their presence here to the devotion of perhaps more than one wealthy person to a highly revered shrine. In spite of the fact that the majority are considerably damaged, they are yet eloquent proofs of the magnificent style of living at the period of their production, and valuable examples of the ornaments of the Middle Ages of which no other collection possesses so large and choice a variety.

image Brooch of the Virgin in
Lochner's "Dombild"
(Cologne Cathedral).

In date one is disposed to place these brooches (or {145} nouches, as they would be termed in old English inventories) in the first half of the fifteenth century—at least as far as the figured pieces are concerned, for jewellery in pictures of the second half of the century is mostly formed of pearls and precious stones alone. Jewelled brooches of this kind ornamented with figures in relief are particularly well represented in the works of the older German painters and above all those of Stephan Lochner (d. 1451), in whose masterpiece in Cologne Cathedral, known as the "Dombild," the Virgin is seen wearing on her breast a brooch ornamented with clusters of pearls and the figure of a seated maiden, with a unicorn resting one foot on her lap.[97] In another celebrated picture by Master Stephan—the "Virgin of the Rose-Arbour," in the Cologne Museum—the same subject is represented on the mandorla, or almond-shaped, brooch which closes the Virgin's robe; while in a third picture by him in the Episcopal Museum of the same city—a picture which, like the rest, bears traces of Flemish influence—the Virgin's brooch or morse is ornamented with a female figure seated, full face, after the manner of the British Museum and Essen brooches.[98]

Such is the extraordinary quality and extreme rarity of jewels of this type that attention must be drawn to yet two more examples: one in the Imperial Collections at Vienna, and the other in the Carrand Collection in the Bargello at Florence. The former is a jewel of {146} quite remarkable character. Within the usual circle of gold wire is a pair of lovers standing side by side each holding the end of a wreath. The figures, dressed in Burgundian costume of the fifteenth century and enamelled with various colours, breathe the spirit of the mediæval amourette as represented upon ivory mirror-cases and jewel-caskets and in miniatures of the twelfth to the sixteenth century. Between them is a triangular diamond set like the example in the British Museum, and below it a pale cabochon ruby. Around are five pearls (Pl. XX, 8).[99] The jewel at Florence (2 inches in diameter) has a border of green enamelled leaves set with pearls, and in the centre a finely modelled figure of a dromedary in white enamel. This brooch, which is in splendid condition, was perhaps intended to be worn, as were some other of these pieces, as an enseigne on the hat or cap (Pl. XVII, 12).

Whatever may have been their nationality, a glance at each, from those in the British Museum to the one last described, is sufficient to determine the identity of their source of inspiration. All bear the stamp of the Flemish-Burgundian art, which throughout the fifteenth century dominated the creations of the goldsmiths, as well as the sculptors, miniaturists, and tapestry workers, of the entire west of Europe.

Every one of these brooches is worthy of the most careful examination, particularly by the craftsman of the present day, for unlike the ornaments of more ancient times, they possess qualities which render them peculiarly appropriate to the circumstances of our later civilisation. In the refinement and simplicity of their arrangement and design these mediæval examples of the jeweller's art transcend many of the greatly admired and more famous jewels of the Renaissance.


{147}

CHAPTER XVIII

MEDIÆVAL RINGS AND BRACELETS

OF all classes of mediæval jewellery finger rings have been preserved in the greatest number. Among the various causes that have contributed to this result must be reckoned their very general use in former times, their comparatively small value, which often saved them from the melting-pot and the fact that they were almost the only articles of value usually buried with the dead.

As regards the use and form of the finger ring during the Middle Ages, we find that it retains in the main its primitive symbolical character, being employed as an emblem rather than an ornament, to signify the investiture of office, the binding of the nuptial bond, and especially as a signet. Though the occurrence of numerous rings without a seal or other mark proves their general acceptance as purely ornamental articles, so deeply was the spirit of the age imbued with leanings towards the mysterious and the occult, that nearly every ring is an annulus vertuosus, supposed to be endowed with some talismanic or sanative efficacy.

For convenience sake mediæval rings may be separated into four main divisions: (1) ecclesiastical and devotional rings; (2) charm rings; (3) love and marriage rings; and (4) ornamental rings, including signets.

Rings have always been looked upon with favour by the Church; they were worn regularly by the {148} higher clergy, and formed part of their ecclesiastical insignia. The British Museum, by the bequest of Mr. Octavius Morgan, possesses an important collection of gilt bronze finger rings of enormous size, each set with a foiled glass or crystal. Most of them bear on the hoop symbols of the four evangelists, the Ox, Lion, Angel, and Eagle, as well as the triple crown and crossed keys with the arms of various popes, and sometimes those of contemporary rulers, mostly of the fifteenth century. These so-called papal rings, of which other examples, and duplicates, exist, are believed to have been presented or sent by popes or cardinals as emblems of investiture when conferring an office or dignity (Pl. XXIII, 10).

A jewelled ring was always worn by a bishop, and was an essential part of his costume when pontificating. It was specially made for him, and usually went with him to the grave. Hence it happens that many of these rings have survived, and are preserved both in museums—the collection in the Franks Bequest in the British Museum being the most extensive—and in the cathedrals where they have been found.[100] In the earliest times bishops usually wore engraved rings for use as signets, but they seem to have had a large jewelled one as well for ceremonial use. According to the instructions of Pope Innocent III in 1194, the episcopal ring was to be of solid gold set with a precious stone on which nothing was to be cut; hence the thirteenth-century rings are at times somewhat rudely fashioned, with the shape of the bezel adapted to the gem just as it was found, its surface merely being polished. Among the stones usually chosen for the purpose were the ruby indicating glory, the sapphire purity, the emerald tranquillity and happiness, and crystal simplicity. Antique gems in earlier times were {149} also worn, and on some rings an inscription is added to give a Christian name to the pagan figure; but others were merely regarded as ornaments without meaning, like one dating from the twelfth century in the Waterton Collection, which bears a Roman cameo in plasma of a female head in high relief; or like the curious example found in the coffin of Seffrid, Bishop of Chichester (d. 1151), in which is mounted a Gnostic intaglio. The most usual form of ring, and one which seems to have been reserved chiefly for bishops, is of a pointed or stirrup shape. It is commonly found set with a small sapphire, more rarely with an emerald, and sometimes, as in William of Wykeham's ring at New College, with a ruby (Pl. XXIII, 1). The fashion for this type appears to have lasted from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century.

PLATE XXIII

image mediæval and later rings

The episcopal ring was formerly worn on the right hand, but is placed at the present day upon the annular finger—the third finger of the left hand. Not more than one episcopal ring is now worn, but on sepulchral effigies and early pictures bishops are represented with three or four rings on the right hand, not infrequently upon the second joint of the fingers, and also upon the thumb. They were generally worn over the gloves, the backs of which were ornamented in addition with a large jewel. These rings were often, therefore, of considerable size, so that when worn without a glove a guard-ring was necessary to prevent their falling off.[101] Mitred abbots were allowed to wear the ring; by others it might be worn, but not during the celebration of the Mass. The use of a ring was forbidden to the lower clergy.

image English gold ring, fifteenth century. Engraved with the "Annunciation," and the words .

Among the rings to be classed under the heading of religious or devotional rings, the most important are the so-called iconographic rings, that is, those which have on {150} the bezels, or on the shoulders, which are generally grooved or fluted, figures of the Virgin and Child, or of patron saints. They are nearly all of the same style of workmanship and date almost exclusively from the fifteenth century. They are peculiar to England and Scotland. Several examples are preserved in the National Museum of Antiquities at Edinburgh (p. 104), and others in the three great English ring collections.

Devotional rings of the same date, and mostly of English workmanship, have broad hoops, some engraved with sacred monograms, some with holy names such as jesus and maria, and others with the names of the Three Kings, spelt in all manner of ways. Two exquisite English gold rings of this kind, dating from the first half of the fifteenth century, are in the British Museum. One, found at Coventry in 1802, is engraved with the five wounds of Christ, together with the legends describing them, and on the inside an inscription containing the names of the Three Kings of Cologne (Pl. XXIII, 4, 5).[102] The other ring was dug up at Godstow Priory, near Oxford, and is of small diameter, suited for a lady's finger, but has a broad hoop engraved with sacred figures. It appears to have been employed as a love ring, for within the hoop is an inscription which runs thus:

inscription [103] (Pl. XXIII, 6).

Another form of religious or devotional ring which was sometimes used in place of the ordinary rosary of beads was the decade ring. This was so called from its usually having at intervals round the hoop ten knobs which were used for repeating ten Aves, and a head or bezel for the Paternoster.

Finger rings, to an even greater extent than any other species of mediæval jewellery, were designed to act {151} as talismans or amulets; and they served, more than any other purpose, that of charms. Their virtue was imparted sometimes by the stone, and sometimes by the device, inscription, or magical letters engraved upon them.

The mystic virtues attributed to stones as well as to engraved gems during the Middle Ages has been frequently alluded to. Among the different stones (like the sapphire, for instance, the very word for which implies protection against drunkenness) carried in the bezel of the ring, which were supposed to make the wearer proof against evil influences, the most valued was the toadstone (Pl. XXIII, 9). It was supposed to be found in the head of a toad, but is in reality the fossil palatal tooth of a species of fish—the ray. A toadstone—also known as crapaudine and batrachites—in a ring was said to indicate the presence of poison by perspiring and changing colour. Toadstones were much sought after, and were highly prized, even in Shakespeare's day.

Sweet are the uses of adversity;
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head. (As you like it, II, 1.)

Ben Jonson alludes to the custom of wearing the stone in rings:—

Were you enamour'd on his copper rings,
His saffron jewel, with the toad-stone in't? (Volpone, II, 5.)

In addition to the stones already mentioned, greatly valued was the Turkey-stone or turquoise, as the "Compassionate turcoyse, which doth tell, By looking pale, the wearer is not well." (Donne, Anatomie of the World.) It was his turquoise ring which Shylock would not have lost "for a wilderness of monkeys."

The use of charm rings seems to have been not uncommon in early times. It was one of the articles of impeachment against Hubert de Burgh, the great justiciar of Henry III, that whereas the King had in {152} his treasury a ring which rendered the wearer invincible in battle, his minister furtively removed the same and bestowed it upon Llewellyn of Wales. As charm rings, too, must be reckoned those which enclosed small relics. But rings so used seem for the most part to have been worn attached by a ribbon or chain to the neck, and not on the finger.

Since such highly valued objects as charmed stones could only be obtained by a few, cabalistic inscriptions often took their place. Many of the devotional rings with the names Jesus, Mary, and Joseph engraved on them, were used as a preservative against the plague; but the most popular inscription was, as has been seen, the names of the Three Kings of the East, which were a powerful charm against peril by travel and sudden death. Such rings were worn against the cramp. There were also caract rings of superstitious use, which bore charms in the form of inscriptions, such as ananizapta. Many other rings of this class have cabalistic names and strange barbaric words and combinations utterly unintelligible.

The fyancel or wedding ring appears to be of Roman origin, and was usually given at the betrothal as a pledge of the engagement. Two forms of these rings are the "gimmel" and the "posy" rings. Gimmel rings (French, jumelle, a twin) are composed of two hoops forming, when closed, one ring, and so constructed as to play when open one within the other. They are of two sorts: those which are either plain or set with precious stones, and those which have the device of the fede or two right hands joined.

Inscriptions or mottoes, as a rule in Norman-French, are to be found on rings of the fourteenth, and more frequently on those of the fifteenth century. They were called "chansons" and also "resons" or "reasons," and later, poesies, posies, or posys. These love inscriptions, generally engraved on the outside of the ring (though placed inside in the sixteenth and {153} seventeenth centuries) are for the most part the same as those found on the brooches of the time, inscriptions such as Je suis ici en lieu d'ami, and the like, being of frequent occurrence. More rarely the motto is in English, as on the beautiful iconographic gold ring in the British Museum. New Year's Day among the Romans was a dies faustus and objects of jewellery were usually among the presents which it was the custom to exchange on that occasion. In the Middle Ages also the advent of the New Year was celebrated by the bestowal of presents. Among these estrennes jewellery was a prominent item, and on the rings of the period (like the one figured on p. 150) the inscription, en bon an frequently occurs.

A very extensive group of mediæval finger rings is formed by signets. These are marked with some device, such as an animal, a bird, a tree, or any other object, so that they could be easily recognised; hence they were often given as credentials to a messenger. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries rings of silver, and occasionally of gold, occur, with a crest or coat-of-arms, or with devices in the form of initials, and certain arbitrary signs called merchants' marks, which were used by merchants and others not entitled to armorial bearings. Piers Plowman speaks of "merchantes merkes ymedeled in glasse." Such rings were often worn on the thumb. Though armorial signets were worn in Italy as early as the fourteenth century, they were not common in England till the commencement of the sixteenth.

Somewhat similar are certain devotional signet rings of silver or base metal engraved with an initial—generally the letter I surmounted by a coronet. The I is probably the initial of the Saviour's name, such rings being worn from a belief in the efficacy of holy names as preservatives from evil.

In connection with the mediæval use of ancient engraved stones, the fashion of wearing Roman intaglios {154} in rings has already been noticed. Upon the metal setting around these gems a legend in Latin was often engraved; the most usual inscription being sigillum secreti, sigillum meum, or the word sigillum, followed by the name of the owner (Pl. XXIII, 11).

Rings which have the appearance of being purely ornamental were worn throughout the Middle Ages in considerable numbers both by men and women; yet at the same time it must ever be borne in mind that the stones set in them had probably in the eyes of the possessors a value quite independent of their use as ornaments.

In the Gold Ornament Room of the British Museum is a collection of five English rings of silver of the twelfth century. They are of small intrinsic value, but of considerable interest as authenticated examples of ornamental rings of the period; for with the exception of those found on the fingers of prelates, the date of early rings is sometimes difficult to determine. The rings were dug up at Lark Hill, near Worcester, in 1854, together with upwards of two hundred pennies of Henry II. They probably date, therefore, from about the end of the century.[104]

image French gold ring, fourteenth century (Louvre).

The peculiarity of many of the richer ornamental rings of this period is the tendency to place the stone upon a high case or stalk, so that the bezel is raised considerably above the hand. A curious example, dating from the fourteenth century, is in the Sauvageot Collection in the Galerie d'Apollon of the Louvre. It shows two dragons' heads issuing from crown-shaped ornaments supporting a sapphire in a high collet.

In the fifteenth century a large number of rings appear to have been habitually worn; and on the monument of Lady Stafford in Bromsgrove {155} Church, Worcestershire (1450), every finger but the last one on the right hand is decorated with a ring. In many of the Flemish pictures of the same date we find ornamental rings set with table-cut or cabochon stones. The form of these is admirably represented in the portrait of a goldsmith, ascribed to Gerard David, in the Royal Gallery at Vienna. In his right hand he holds one ring, and in the left a short roll of parchment, on which are placed four more. The rings are somewhat massive, and thicken towards the bezel, where they are mounted with table-cut stones within plain claw settings. In the same gallery is John van Eyck's portrait, dated 1436, of John De Leeuw, jeweller to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. He holds between the thumb and forefinger of his right hand a gold ring set with a small cabochon stone.

This notice of mediæval finger rings may be concluded by drawing attention to a picture which, in view of the jewellery of the Middle Ages, is one of the most fascinating of all the productions of the Flemish school. The panel in question, the property of Baron A. Oppenheim, of Cologne, represents the legend of St. Godeberta and St. Eloy. It was painted in the year 1449 for the corporation of goldsmiths of Antwerp by Petrus Christus, who flourished in the first half of the fifteenth century, and died at Bruges about 1472. Appropriately enough, the patron saint of goldsmiths is figured in his shop; and the picture thus affords us a singularly interesting and attractive representation of the interior of a jeweller's shop in the middle of the fifteenth century with every detail of its glittering contents. St. Eloy or Eligius, whose figure, for all we know, may be the portrait of some well-known jeweller of the day, is seen seated at the goldsmith's bench, beside which stand Dagobert, King of France, and St. Godeberta. He is employed in weighing the ring with which the King seeks to {156} espouse the Virgin Saint; but instead, so the legend runs, of giving her the engagement ring, he slipped on her finger a ruby ring, mystically espousing her to Christ. The King wears, pinned to the front of his black chaperon, a brooch or enseigne, set with a ruby surrounded by four pearls and having a pendent drop. Round his neck is a curb chain of alternate plain and beaded links, from which hangs a jewel formed of two lions affrontés. Godeberta's head-dress, or escoffion, is of embroidered gold sewn with pearls. The pendant of her neck-chain, hidden by the bodice, lies between the breasts.

Very carefully rendered is each item of the choice collection of objects that forms the goldsmith's stock-in-trade, exhibited on a stall covered with white linen on the left hand of the goldsmith-saint. Below is a box of rings, some plain, some mounted, ranged along three rolls of parchment. Beside them lie large pearls and precious stones, and seed pearls sorted in a shell by themselves. Behind, against the back, rest a branch of coral and oblong pieces of rock crystal and of opaque stone of porphyry-red. Above, on a piece of dark cloth, hang three splendid jewels—a pendant and two brooches, and next to them a pair of tooth-like pendants, probably glossopetræ. From the shelf on the top is suspended a string of red, amber, and pale blue rosary beads, and in the middle a girdle end of brown leather with buckle and mounts of gilded metal. The remainder of the collection, formed of various vessels, comprises a crystal cylinder set with gold and precious stones and a mounted cocoanut cup; and on the upper shelf a covered cup and a couple of tall flagons of silver parcel-gilt. This remarkable picture at once brings to mind that strangely interesting series of interiors afterwards produced by Quentin Matsys and Marinus van Romerswael, representing money-changers, bankers, or usurers busily engaged in counting up or weighing {157} coins scattered before them on a table, upon which also sometimes lie a handsome ring or two, a richly jewelled pendant, or unset precious stones and pearls.

PLATE XXIV

image picture, known as the "legend of st. eloy and st. godeberta," representing the interior of a goldsmith's shop in the fifteenth century
by petrus christus of bruges

 

BRACELETS

Bracelets were as little in vogue as earrings during the Middle Ages, and remarks made concerning the latter apply also to bracelets, in that they only appear as the lingering traces of Byzantine fashions which, until the commencement of the twelfth century, made themselves strongly felt throughout the whole of Europe.

In the National Museum at Munich is a gold armlet formed of two hinged halves covered with filigree and beaded ornament. Its outer rims are of twisted gold, and within are bands of fine plaited wire. It is adorned with bosses of filigree alternating with pyramidal projections. The origin of this fine ornament is unknown, but it probably dates from about the eleventh or twelfth century (Pl. XVIII, 6). The National Museum of Buda-Pesth contains a pair of very similar armlets. In connection with these ornaments the persistence of tradition in goldsmith's work is curiously seen, since armlets closely resembling the earlier examples are made and worn in Cairo at the present day.

During the latter part of the Middle Ages it appears to have been a common practice for ladies to wear rosaries or chaplets of beads upon their wrists as bracelets. With these exceptions, the long sleeves that were worn throughout the greater part of the Middle Ages did not favour the use of an ornament that demanded the bare skin as a foundation. Ornamental circlets round the upper arm, which are not infrequently met with in pictures, must be regarded as gold-embroidered edgings or bands. It is true they were frequently set with pearls, stones, and decorations in gold, but as they were sewn upon the sleeves they have no actual claim to the name of armlets.

{158} Armlets or bracelets appear to have been worn to a certain extent towards the close of the fifteenth century, but to have been reserved chiefly for summer wear. "If the bracelets we ordered months ago are not here till the summer is over and we no longer wear our arms bare, they will be of no use." So, about 1491, says Mrs. Ady, wrote the famous Isabella d'Este, Marchioness of Mantua, to the skilled goldsmith, Ercole Fedeli, of Ferrara, who had failed to execute her order punctually. The dilatoriness of the same artist on another occasion kept the marchioness waiting four years for a pair of silver bracelets, and they would never, she declared, have been finished in her lifetime if Duke Alfonso had not thrown him into the Castello dungeon.[105]

Though there are other references to the use of bracelets in the fifteenth century, it was not until about the middle of the century following that this species of ornament came into general use.

image A goldsmith in his workshop.
From Hortus Sanitatis
(Strasburg, 1536).

{159}

CHAPTER XIX

MEDIÆVAL BELTS AND GIRDLES

THE girdle or ceinture of elaborate workmanship formed no inconsiderable part of the jewellery of the wealthy in the Middle Ages. Though actual examples are extremely rare, there is scarcely an effigy or picture from the thirteenth century to the beginning of the sixteenth which does not supply us with some varied form of this indispensable article; while the wills and inventories of the period often contain descriptions of girdles of extraordinary richness. By the poor, too, the girdle was habitually worn, but with them it frequently dwindled down to a few metal knobs sewn on to leather or on to coarse cloth.

In addition to the upper girdle for fastening round the waist, a lower girdle was worn, both as an ornament and as a belt for the sword. It was a broad and sometimes stiff band which loosely encircled the body about the hips, and in the case of male attire was sometimes attached to the lower border of the tunic, with which it converged.

Of the narrower and more pliable species of girdle, the portions reserved for special enrichment were the ends, one of which terminated in the buckle, and the other in the pendant or mordant. Some account of the buckle and of its plate, to which the strap of the girdle is attached, has already been given in the Introduction. Always a favourite field in former times for the display {160} of the jeweller's art, it was likewise richly adorned by the goldsmiths of the later Middle Ages. At the other end of the girdle was a metal attachment or chape which gave it consistency where it was most required. This girdle end, which hung down and was known as the tag or pendant, was decorated with various designs frequently of an architectural character and sometimes set with precious stones; but whenever such decorations projected beyond the sides of the strap the buckle was made wider in like manner, and if tassels and other ornaments were added they were always of such size that they could pass easily through the buckle. The metal shape thus covering the end of the belt was also called the mordant (of the same derivation as the word morse), especially if in the absence of a buckle it was so constructed as to hook on to a clasp to facilitate securing the belt round the person. The mordant often forms with the buckle-plate a single design, its decorated front being either as large as the plate, or of such a shape as to form with it a regular figure. From the twelfth century, when from sepulchral monuments[106] we obtain our first information respecting the girdle, until the seventeenth, we nearly always find that the end, when passed through the buckle, was twisted round the waist-strap and hung down in front, in the case of men about twelve inches and with women almost to the ground. But when, instead of a buckle, a clasp formed of a central stud or rosette was employed, either the end of the girdle itself hung down, or an additional chain was attached at the point of junction. To this was sometimes suspended a pomander-box, tablets, or a pendent reliquary. This mode, however, of suspending such objects did not come generally into vogue till the time of the Renaissance, and when worn in the earlier period at the {161} girdle they were hung at the side from a hook, somewhat like a chatelaine.

The girdle itself was usually about two yards in length, and consisted of a strap of stamped leather, or a band of material with a firm foundation, upon which were set button-shaped decorations at regular intervals. This was known as the studded girdle (ceinture ferrée). Among the wealthy the studs were composed of the precious metals, against which the sumptuary laws both at home and abroad (of little effect it would seem) contained special prohibitions. The studs upon the girdles of the poor were generally of the alloy of brass and tin called latten or laton, and the term "pearled with latoun" is mentioned in the Canterbury Tales.

There is still in existence in the City of London the Girdlers' Company, which is of great antiquity. By a charter granted them by Edward III in 1327 it was forbidden to the girdlers to "garnish any girdle of silk, wool, leather or linen thread, with any inferior metal than latten, copper, iron, and steel, and if any girdles were garnished with lead pewter, or tin, the same should be burned, and the workmen punished for their false work."[107] In spite of this prohibition girdles appear to have been frequently mounted with the baser metals, and a considerable number with mountings of pewter have been discovered. Their ordinance, as did that of latoners or workers in latten, likewise forbade girdlers from interfering with the trade of the goldsmiths by mounting girdles or garters with gold or silver; and that if a girdler wished to harness his goods with either of the precious metals he was obliged to employ a goldsmith. In 1376 a girdler of the City of London was accused of "having secretly made in his chamber a certain girdle that was harnessed with silver." Upon being brought before the justices he pleaded that his offence was a light one compared with {162} the more serious fraud of plating with silver objects of base metal. He was dismissed with a warning. Subsequently he was convicted of the very fraud he himself had mentioned, and punished with a heavy fine.[108] The work of the English goldsmiths in the adornment of girdles appears to have been well known and recognised upon the Continent, and an inventory of the jewels of the Duke and Duchess of Orleans in 1408 mentions a girdle of rich goldwork set with pearls and sapphires "de la façon d'Angleterre."

The mediæval girdle, seldom as in later times in the form of a chain, but generally composed of leather, was sometimes ornamented in the most costly manner. In the inventory of Edward II is "a girdle in the old style [probably filigree-work] set with letters of pearls: the buckle and mordant enamelled with escutcheons of the arms of England and others."[109] In the expenses of the Great Wardrobe of Edward III[110] there occurs an entry of 304 dozens of silver buckles, and a similar number of pendants, while his jewels deposited in the Treasury included many complete girdles enriched with enamels and precious stones.[111] From the many fifteenth-century girdles of extraordinary richness described in the inventories, the following, the property of Henry IV, may be selected as an example: "Item, a girdle of black silk, of gold, garnished with various stones. With 28 bars[112] of gold, 13 of which are set with 13 balasses, and 4 pearls at the corners, and 14 bars, each enamelled with various flowers, and on each 4 pearls. Set on the buckle is one balas, 10 large and {163} 6 small pearls. On the pendant one balas, 8 large and 5 small pearls."

This entry probably refers to the broader and richer kind of girdle, known as the military belt (cingulum);[113] a similar belt being also worn by women. It was generally employed by men, as was sometimes the narrow girdle, for the purpose of hanging the sword. This belt, frequently composed of silk or gold tissue, seems to have come into general use about the fourteenth century, and was worn round the hips. It was often furnished with a buckle and mordant, but was more usually united by a clasp, which at times was made very prominent, and assumed excessive dimensions. Girdles and belts in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were sometimes studded with medallions of Limoges enamel. There is in the Victoria and Albert Museum a beautiful fifteenth-century Italian belt of gold tissue (Pl. XXXVIII, 1). Its buckle, studs, and other ornaments are of gilt metal, and the broad buckle-plate is enriched with niello work, bearing the legend Virtus vin[cit]. Two silver-gilt plates from a Gothic girdle of Flemish work of the fifteenth century are in the possession of Herr James Simon, of Berlin. Each plate is almost square, and measures 1¾ by 1½ inches. The centres are sunk: within one is a figure of Samson and the Lion, and in the other a figure on horseback, probably St. George or St. Michael. The figures, in full relief and delicately modelled, are each surrounded by pearls and blossoms, the groundwork being covered with bright green enamel, on which are small dots of white enamel capped with red. The plates are ornamented at each corner with chased Gothic foliage, and have hinges at the sides to unite them to other similar sections, of which the complete girdle was, perhaps, originally composed (Pl. XXV, 4).

{164} Of frequent occurrence in old English wills is the word demysent (or demysens), which refers to the little girdles worn by women: they were known in France as demi-ceints or demi-ceintures. Another species of girdle was called the baldrick—derived from the French baudrier; the baudroier being the currier who prepared skins for the purpose. The term baldric or baudric, sometimes applied to the military belt worn round the waist, was generally employed for a belt worn over one shoulder, across the breast, and under the opposite arm.[114] It was often of a rich description and set with precious stones, and in early times was occasionally hung with little bells.[115]

Among the girdles in the possession of Henry IV[116] one is garnished with heads of stags and small pearls, and another with ostrich plumes and little golden bells. Others, mostly of stuff, are garnished with various flowers, mostly roses, or with ivy leaves, and the majority are hung with little bells. In addition to such enrichments, which included also coats-of-arms, girdles bore inscriptions, engraved on the buckle-plate, or formed of letters sewn upon the band. These latter were often of an amatory or of a superstitious character; for, like other articles of mediæval jewellery, the girdle, on account of the stones, etc., set upon it, was frequently considered endowed with talismanic properties. Chaucer in his adaptation of the older "Roman de la Rose" describes the rich jewelled girdle, worn by one of the emblematical characters in the Garden of Love. It was set with stones evidently valued for their mystic properties.

{165}

Richesse a girdle had upon,
The bokell of it was of a ston,
Of vertue grete, and mokell of might.
. . . . . . . . . .
The mordaunt wrought in noble wyse,
Was of a stone full precious,
That was so fine and vertuous,
That whole a man it couth make
Of palasey and of totheake.

Attached directly to the girdle or suspended from it by a hook or chain was a purse or pouch called either a gipcière, aulmonière, or escarcelle, which was made of velvet, silk, or stamped leather. The gipcière (also written gypcyre) is mentioned most frequently in early documents, where it is often described as being enriched with embroidery, and set with pearls and precious stones. Like the aulmonière and escarcelle, it was worn from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century hung from a loop at the right side of the girdle. The heads or clasps of the finest purses were of beautiful workmanship, of silver, bronze, or iron, damascened, or exquisitely chiselled. For ordinary use these heads—known as gipcière beams—as well as the mounts or frames of the purses, were made of brass or latten; and judging from the number that has been found and preserved, in the Guildhall Museum, for instance, their use must have been very general in mediæval times.

image "Luckenbooth" brooch of silver (Nat. Mus. of Antiquities, Edinburgh).

{166}

RENAISSANCE JEWELLERY

 

CHAPTER XX

ITALY, FIFTEENTH CENTURY

THE history of Renaissance jewellery in general may be approached by reviewing the condition of Italian jewellery in the fifteenth century. In the foregoing outline of European jewellery to the end of the fifteenth century—which has served as an approximate date for the termination of the mediæval epoch—practically no reference has been made to Italy. One need only examine the general style of Italian painting, architecture, and sculpture of the Quattrocento, to see how far apart the art of Italy stands from that of the rest of Europe.

Italian jewellery certainly merits the great reputation it has always possessed. Nor is this surprising, considering the prominent part played by the goldsmiths in the renaissance of artistic taste—by these craftsmen who, in the highest sense artists, were the first to break the fetters of tradition, and yield to those impulses that sought a wider field for the gratification of their creative instinct. Hence the history of the jeweller's art in Italy at the period of the Quattrocento largely resolves itself into the biographies of those master sculptors and painters, who worked first as goldsmiths and jewellers, and throughout their careers remained ever mindful of their original trade.

{167} Venice, which in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was the wealthiest city and the principal port in Europe, though rivalled in the former century by Bruges and by Antwerp in the latter, encouraged the use of luxurious jewellery, as did the great cities of the north. But Florence undoubtedly took the lead as an artistic centre, judging alone by the artists she produced. The paintings of the Venetian school (the work of Crivelli, for instance), and those of the schools of Tuscany, etc., reveal the exquisite beauty of ecclesiastical jewellery, and of the ornaments with which men, no less than women, loved to deck their persons. Nearly every painter possessed an insight into the mysteries of the goldsmith's craft, and represented his subject, whatever it might be, with careful attention to its jewelled accessories. The great merchants of opulent and artistic cities, such as Siena, Milan, and others, besides Venice and Florence, delighted in rich jewels; and the masters of the schools of painting which had their centres in these towns have preserved in glowing pigment a faithful record of these delicate works of art, on which the eminent jewellers of the day lavished their skill and ingenuity.

The great superiority and beauty of the personal ornaments revealed to us in this manner must first of all be ascribed to that awakening to the full joy of life that was so characteristic a feature of the Renaissance. The rapture of spring ran hot in men's veins. Life was an uninterrupted succession of revelry and gaiety, amid splendour of colouring and glitter of gold. The goldsmith emerges from the subordinate state he occupied in the mediæval guild, and attains fame as a free artist, whose duty was to minister personally to the luxurious tastes of those who played a part in the gorgeous pageant of the new epoch. The goldsmiths included among their ranks great master craftsmen, whose perfection of technical skill seemed to find satisfaction {168} only in overcoming the greatest problems that their art could offer.

Vasari tells of the very close connection and almost constant intercourse that existed between the goldsmiths and the painters. Indeed, nearly every artist, before applying himself to painting, architecture, or sculpture, began with the study of the goldsmith's craft, and "passed the years of his apprenticeship in the technical details of an industry that then supplied the strictest method of design."[117]

The names of several artists of the Renaissance have been handed down who are specially recorded as having worked at jewellery. One of the earliest of those who began their career in the goldsmith's workshops is Ghiberti (b. 1378), who throughout life remained faithful to that species of work. His jewellery is specially extolled by Vasari.

Following upon Ghiberti were two great jewellers, Tommaso (commonly called Maso) di Finiguerra and Antonio Pollaiuolo; the former famous for his nielli, the latter for his enamel-work upon relief. Pollaiuolo's love for jewel-forms in his paintings (executed together with his brother Piero) is seen not only in the Annunciation at Berlin, but in the group of SS. Eustace, James, and Vincent in the Uffizi, and the portrait of Simonetta Vespucci at Chantilly. Born in 1435, a few years after Pollaiuolo, Andrea del Verrocchio resembled in the peculiar versatility of his genius, others of these typical artists of the Middle or High Renaissance—the Epoch of the Goldsmith it has been termed.

A jeweller whose influence in his own day was greater, and whose fame almost equalled that of Cellini, was Ambrogio Foppa, called Caradosso, who was born about 1446 at Milan. He worked first in the service of Ludovico Sforza, and afterwards at Rome, where he died as late as the year 1530. He {169} seems to have been skilled in every branch of the goldsmith's art, and especially excelled in making little medallions of gold, enriched with figures in high relief and covered with enamels, which were worn as enseignes in the hat or hair. His work in this direction is highly extolled by Cellini, and his skill in enamelling specially mentioned by Vasari.

image Pendant worn by one of The Three Graces in Botticelli's "Primavera."

Among the artists of the end of the fifteenth century who, after being goldsmiths and jewellers, became celebrated as painters must be mentioned Botticelli (1444-1510), Domenico del Ghirlandaio (1449-1494), and Francia (1450-1517). Ghirlandaio is commonly referred to as a maker of the jewelled coronals (ghirlande), popular with the unmarried and newly wedded ladies of Florence. It is probable that he did produce this class of work in early life; but his name seems to have been borne by several members of his family, for in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries a goldsmith was often familiarly termed "Ghirlandaio," as one of his chief occupations was the manufacture of the rich head-ornaments then so much in vogue.

image Jewel, in Ghirlandaio's portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni.

Though Ghirlandaio does not fill his pictures with dainty details like the intricate settings which Botticelli devised for the neck-pendants of the Graces in his "Primavera," yet he invariably pays careful regard to the representation of jewelled accessories. Such may be seen in the well-known portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni (1488), belonging to Mr. Pierpont Morgan (formerly in the Kann Collection). She has two jewels: one, worn on her breast, is formed of a ruby in claw setting with a small beryl above, and hung with three pendent pearls; the other, specially introduced into the picture and {170} lying beside her in a recess, is composed of a cluster of stones—a ruby surrounded by two pearls and three beryls—beautifully set, and surmounted by a winged dragon with a sapphire over its head. Resting upon a table in the foreground of another picture—a curious panel in the possession of Mr. George Salting—representing Costanza de' Medici, are several pins, three rings on a roll of parchment, and a pendant hung with three pearls and set with a large and a small sapphire. In the Pitti Gallery is a portrait, not by Domenico, but by his son Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, which may be here alluded to owing to the special interest of its subject. The portrait is that of a jeweller holding in his hand and gazing intently at what is presumably one of his own creations—a richly enamelled jewel fashioned in the form of a "pelican in its piety."

Concerning the jewellery of the great goldsmith of Bologna, Francesco Raibolini, called Francia, a considerable amount of information has been preserved. Born in 1450, he passed the best part of his life as a goldsmith, and not till he was upwards of forty did he abandon the goldsmith's art for that of the painter.[118] One of Francia's finest paintings is the "Felicini" altar-piece in the Bologna Gallery, executed in 1484 by commission of Messer Bartolomeo Felicini for the church of S. Maria della Misericordia in that city. Among the many splendid gifts this famous church had received was a jewel which the records say was set by Francia himself. Its beauty was held in such esteem, that by desire of the chapter the artist introduced it into his {171} picture, where it can be seen hanging over the head of the Madonna. Its centre is occupied by a fine amethyst, and is bordered by deep blood-crimson enamel, with pearls at the angles. So carefully is every detail of this jewel painted, that a modern goldsmith has found no difficulty in copying it with absolute exactness[119] (Pl. XXV, 1).

PLATE XXV

image fifteenth-century pendants, etc.
(italian and flemish)

The last of the great jewellers of the Quattrocento was Michelagnolo di Viviano, who worked at Florence under the patronage of Lorenzo and Giuliano de' Medici. He was the earliest instructor of the greatest goldsmith and jeweller of the late Renaissance, Benvenuto Cellini, in whose Treatise and Life he is spoken of with the highest praise.

From actual examples we obtain but slight information of the Italian ornaments of the fifteenth century; but that there is a distinct alteration in the style of jewellery between the Quattrocento and the Cinquecento, the pictures of these great artistic periods offer abundant proofs. This difference is particularly noticeable in ornaments for the head. During the fifteenth century we find the forehead heightened, and the space thus obtained emphasised by a single jewel placed at the top of the brow. This form of ornament is admirably shown in Piero della Francesca's "Nativity" in the National Gallery, and particularly in his "Madonna and Child," with saints and angels, and with the donor, Federigo of Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, in the Brera, Milan. The parts of these two pictures most characteristic of the artist are the figures of the angels, who wear jewels executed with extraordinary brilliancy—compositions of pearls in delicate goldwork enriched with blue enamel. Precious stones and jewels were often sewn, at regular intervals, all {172} round the band of ribbon or galloon that encircled the head, as seen in a portrait in the Ambrosiana, Milan, ascribed to Ambrogio da Predis, and considered to be that of Beatrice d' Este; but it is more usual to find in the centre of the brow an isolated jewel, held by a narrow ribbon or silken cord, knotted at the back of the head—as in Caroto's portrait of the Duchess Elizabeth Gonzaga in the Uffizi, who wears on the forehead a jewelled scorpion, emblem of logic.

This head-ornament is known as the ferronnière; and the origin of its title is somewhat peculiar. There is in the Louvre an attractive and greatly admired portrait of a lady, with her hair held in place by black cord supporting a diamond in the middle of the forehead. For many years the portrait was entitled "La Belle Ferronnière," having been erroneously considered to be that of the blacksmith's wife (ferronnière) whose beauty enthralled Francis I in his declining years. It is now generally held to be a portrait of Lucrezia Crivelli, mistress of Ludovico Moro, Duke of Milan. The name of the painter is a matter of dispute, though the work is still ascribed, as it has long been, to Leonardo da Vinci. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, when the Romantic movement was at its height, a similar ornament was revived, and received its present name under a misconception of the subject of the picture. In the sixteenth century this simple ornament is abandoned, and it was the painter's task to depict magnificent coiffures like those of Veronese's ladies, sprinkled with jewels and entwined with ropes of pearls.

As regards the ornaments for the neck, the changes of fashion in the two periods and the artistic mode of expressing the fashion demanded a different style of jewellery. The slender neck which is displayed in the portraits of the earlier period required lighter ornaments than did the massive forms of the later. "The {173} artist no longer trifled with single gems, hanging on a thread, but painted a solid chain, and the light, close-fitting necklace becomes pendent and heavy."[120] The distinct refinement exhibited in Italy in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries did not demand a great profusion or variety of jewellery. As the pendent ornament for the neck-chain, a simple jewel formed by one stone in the centre and smaller stones or four pearls around seems in most cases to have been sufficient. Circular pendants of niello-work surrounded by silver-gilt bands of corded ornament were much in use, and a small number, dating from about 1460 to 1530, have survived. They sometimes bear a religious subject (Pl. XIX, 4). But not infrequently the head of a lady is represented in profile, generally with a flower under her nose; and it is possible that these were worn by men as a pledge of affection from their lady-love. Finger rings with somewhat similar designs were also worn (Pl. XXIII, 16).

Beyond a small number of objects of this description, very few examples of Italian Quattrocento jewellery have escaped the crucible. The change of taste even between the early and the full Renaissance was sufficient to cause their destruction. Among surviving jewels of this century is a very beautiful gold and enamel pendant in the collection of Mr. Pierpont Morgan. It is circular in form, and was probably intended as a reliquary. Upon the front is an Annunciation in high relief. The garment of the Virgin is enriched with red and blue, and that of the angel with red and white enamel; the chequered base being of translucent green. Around is a border of leaves and flowers enamelled red and white. The open-work back consists of a central rosette, surrounded by interlacing curves, and edged with a delicate wreath (Pl. XXV, 2).

It remains to draw attention, by means of a beautiful representation of jewellery in painting, to an example {174} of the style of brooch worn in Florence in the latter part of the fifteenth century. The picture referred to is that of the Virgin and Child (No. 296) in the National Gallery. It is apparently the work of Verrocchio, Pollaiuolo, or one of the goldsmith-painters of whom we have spoken; for the minute execution of the ornaments would seem to denote the hand of an artist who had practised the goldsmith's and jeweller's art. The brooch that serves as a fastening for the Virgin's cloak—the same being represented on that of one of the angels—is of most charming design. It has in the centre a table-cut ruby, around which are set four pearls between ornaments in the form of blackberries, surrounded by an outer border of blackberry leaves. So carefully is the jewel drawn that every detail can bear close inspection. A peculiar point of interest is that the pearls, each of which is set in a couple of crutch-like clasps, appear to correspond to the "perles à potences" frequently mentioned in the contemporary jewel inventories of the Dukes of Burgundy.

image Brooch worn by the Virgin in fifteenth-century Florentine picture (No. 296, National Gallery, London).

Some measure of compensation for the unfortunate lack of actual examples of Italian Quattrocento jewellery is obtained, apart from their representation in pictures, by the very remarkable use that was made of jewel forms for the marginal decoration of manuscripts. Such enrichments of the borders of missals, etc., by means of painted jewel ornaments, would seem to be but the direct outcome of the system whereby most of the painters, sculptors, architects, and no less eminent miniaturists received their first instruction in art in the workshops of the goldsmiths. It is certain from their {175} quality that the jewels represented in manuscripts, generally in their natural size, are the work of artists well acquainted with the jeweller's art, whose eyes were further impressed by the embroidered edgings of ecclesiastical vestments enriched with jewel ornaments and sewn with pearls and precious stones. In painting with corresponding luxury the border decorations of church missals, the miniaturists have obviously not drawn on their imagination, or constructed jewel forms in a mere haphazard manner. The individual pieces, often complete jewels, are just such as might at the time have been found on the shelves of some goldsmith's workshop.

Among the most skilful of such reproductions of jewels are those in the celebrated choir books of the cathedral of Siena, particularly the pages painted by Liberale di Giacomo da Verona, who worked at Siena from the year 1466. An examination of these illuminations reveals Liberale as an artist thoroughly conversant with the jeweller's craft: so that his work, together with that of his followers, such as the Florentine Giovanni di Giuliano Boccardi, the Dominican Fra Eustachio, Litti di Filippo Corbizi, Monte di Giovanni, Antonio di Girolamo, the famous Attavante, and the various miniaturists of King Mathias Corvinus of Hungary, apart from its charming execution, constitutes a veritable storehouse of information respecting the ornaments of the period. Particularly fine examples of jewelled and enamelled decorations are also contained in choir books in the cathedral of Florence, missals in the Barberini Palace, Rome, a Bible of Mathias Corvinus in the Vatican Library, several books in the Brera at Milan, and the fine Glockendon missal (circa 1540) in the Town Library at Nuremberg. More important perhaps than all is the Grimani Breviary, now in the Library of St. Mark's, Venice. The ornamentation of this famous work, the product of a {176} Flemish artist of the final years of the fifteenth century, displays a northern naturalism favourable to the striking representation of jewel forms, and serves to illustrate the close and active relationship then existing between the Flemish and Italian goldsmiths.[121]

image A fifteenth-century jeweller. From Ortus Sanitatis (Strasburg, about 1497).

{177}

CHAPTER XXI

SIXTEENTH-CENTURY JEWELLERY (GENERAL)
ITALY, SIXTEENTH CENTURY

GREAT ostentation and external splendour were the chief features of the Renaissance. So, if the jewellery of this time appears to us more magnificent than that of any other, this superiority is but an indirect result of the intermediate causes which find a place in all that is included under the term Renaissance.

In enumerating certain characteristics that distinguish sixteenth-century jewellery from that of other epochs, the enormous quantity used may first of all be noted. A general increase in wealth had taken place, but in the comparative rarity of opportunity for investments, it was still customary to keep gold and precious stones secreted,[122] or, as was more generally done, make them into ornaments of small compass and easily convertible into hard cash.

Coupling this with the magnificent style of living during the Renaissance, we need feel less surprise at the extraordinary abundance of jewellery which we read of in contemporary chronicles, and find represented in the utmost variety on the portraits of the {178} period. Men of solid reputation and serious disposition seem, equally with women, to have fallen victims to the reigning passion for jewellery.

If we are at first inclined to wonder at the number of Cinquecento jewels that have survived, we can more readily understand that they represent the merest fraction of what formerly existed, when we take into consideration all the risks of destruction such fragile and precious objects have undergone—objects by their nature the very first to disappear. Monetary pressure caused by war, the division of property, and many other events were fraught with danger to objects in the precious metals. Change of taste, almost as rapid as that in dress, which has caused the last fashion but one to be the least of all desired, necessitated the repeated refashioning of jewellery. Notwithstanding their perfection, the exquisite productions of the sixteenth century were unable to resist the fatal influence of fashion, and were largely broken up towards the termination of the seventeenth century, when brilliant enamels and artistically wrought gold were less in request, and the precious metals became entirely subservient to the stones, for which they acted simply as settings. On the other hand, their small size, which has rendered them easy to conceal, accounts for the preservation of some examples, while mere chance, or perhaps an historical association, oft-times solely traditional, has saved others from destruction.

The finest productions of the artificers of antiquity transcend in abstract beauty of design everything, perhaps, that has since been produced. Those of the mediæval craftsmen possess a charm and beauty impossible to deny, and a peculiar naïveté and ingenuousness of their own, to be looked for in vain elsewhere. It must be acknowledged, however, that the jewels of the Renaissance, the receptacle of every variety of adornment by way of precious stones, pearls, and enamels that the {179} goldsmith could devise in order to enrich them, are in their own manner incomparable. It may be that some err so far on the side of over-elaboration that they lose the balance and dignity of harmonious design, but the majority possess qualities rarely found in combination save at this remarkable period—a richness of form, boldness of conception, and extraordinary refinement of technique. There is no species of technical work, whether it was a case of hammering, chasing, or casting, or, above all, enamelling, that was not then brought to perfection. But the splendours of the Renaissance must not blind us to the efforts of the preceding age; for thorough though the change was from the style of Gothic art, the jewellers of the Renaissance were deeply indebted to the mediæval traditions which they had by their side to aid them in developing their artistic conceptions.

Another noticeable point with regard to the jewellery of this period is its astonishing variety. Its decline, and reduction to a monotonous repetition of design, coincides with the disappearance of those artists who possessed the universality of a man like Cellini, and with the division of labour characteristic of modern art and industry.

In addition to the enormous quantity used, a distinctive feature of Renaissance ornaments is the preference shown for colour. The placing together of bright-coloured gems with delicately worked gold invariably enriched with polychrome enamels is the fundamental motive of the jewellery of the period. So admirable was the craftsman's taste that each jewel forms in itself a scheme perfect in design and colour, and the rubies, emeralds, and sapphires introduced for the sake of their colour values, serve the composition as a whole without overwhelming it; while the diamond, which comprised almost the sole material of the jewellery of later times, was used only for purposes of {180} contrast. It cannot be said that precious stones had entirely forfeited their mediæval reputation at the period of the revival; but as jewellery was beginning to assume generally the character of mere ornament, the stones which enriched it were naturally chosen rather with an eye to their decorative qualities than for any fancied virtues they might be considered to possess.

One of the charms of this old jewellery lies in the setting of its stones, which are mostly table-cut, and fixed in square pyramidal collets. The usual process of setting was to rub the upper edges of the closed and box-like collet over the setting edge of the stone, and occasionally to lay over this an additional ornament in imitation of claws. This manner of beating up or pressing the edges of the collet over the faceted sides of the stone is extremely pleasing, for the stone, with its colour thrown up by a foil or paillon, harmonises admirably with the somewhat irregular frame of gold that surrounds it.

The art of enamelling, especially where figures are represented in full relief, attains the highest point of perfection. Even when enamels cover the various parts of jewels in a wondrous harmony of colour, the artists of the period contrived with extraordinary tact to leave small portions in gold: the hair of the figures, manes of horses, armour, weapons—glittering points that enhance the beauty of the whole. Translucent and opaque enamels are found side by side employed in different modes with astounding assurance. Extensive use was made of opaque white enamel, always by way of contrast; a favourite device being to enrich with it the edges of tendrils in the form of minute beads, each no larger than a pin's head.

It is the desire for harmony and beauty of execution, rather than for display of wealth, that characterises the best productions of the Renaissance, whose true value lies not in their intrinsic, but in their real artistic {181} worth. The whole of every jewel, back as well as front, is finished and enamelled with the same exquisite care. What little material value these jewels possessed when their form and design was destroyed and their beautiful devices obliterated is well illustrated by Brantôme's story of the jewels of the Countess of Châteaubriand. This lady had been supplanted in the affections of Francis I by another—the future Duchess of Estampes—who persuaded the King to claim all the fine jewels he had bestowed on his former mistress. The value of these lay chiefly in their beautiful designs and devices, so on receiving the demand, she melted them all down, and returned them to him converted into golden ingots.

The splendid love of life which finds expression in every production of Renaissance art exercises a pervading influence over its jewellery, and determines the subjects to be represented. All the larger objects, and indeed every object which is not of a purely decorative pattern, is given to the depicting of a subject. Throughout the finest period of jewellery, goldsmith's work was closely associated with sculpture; and the human figure, or figures of animals either real or imaginary, wrought in relief or executed in the round, find a place on almost every jewelled composition. The subjects, largely chosen from among the new circle of ideas opened up by the literature of the Renaissance, reveal wide knowledge of classical mythology, romance, and poetic legends, as well as remarkable adaptive genius. Nor are subjects from the Old and New Testaments excluded; though fanciful groups—in one case a representation of some theological virtue, and in another some sacred allegory—are more popular. The symbolical figures of the Middle Ages, as the unicorn and the "pelican in her piety," with sea monsters and fantastic men and beasts, are of frequent occurrence. Subjects such as these, and many others suggested by {182} the fertile mind of the Renaissance jeweller and the artist who drew his designs, are so numerous that space would fail were one to attempt to enumerate even a tithe of those met with on jewels of the Cinquecento.

Notwithstanding its subjects, we find in the jewellery of the Renaissance, beyond what tradition had preserved, no direct influence resulting from the study of the ornaments of the ancients, though the awakened interest of Italy in the antique cannot but have been accompanied by some acquaintance with the productions of her early goldsmiths. There appears, however, to have been no attempt to base the jewels of the period on the forms of ancient ornaments, to imitate the beaded work of the Etruscans or the goldwork of ancient Greece or Rome.

Yet Renaissance design of the sixteenth century, with its arabesques and scrollwork (best represented by Raphael's famous arabesques in the Loggia of the Vatican) seems to have been in the main inspired by antique designs, such as the frescoes discovered at Rome in 1506, in the Baths of Petus—the so-called grottos, from which was derived, as Cellini explains, the term grotesque.

The newly developed design, a combination of figures, masks, flowers, fruits, and various other details, applicable as it was to every branch of art, was peculiarly adapted to jewellery, and was quickly seized upon by the jewellers, who employed it for ornaments of a purely decorative formation, or for the framework or backgrounds of the exquisite figured compositions then so much in vogue.

The real difficulty that confronts one in dealing with the jewellery of the sixteenth century lies not in the inability to obtain the necessary material examples, but in expressing a definite opinion as to their nationality and origin; and this difficulty the best informed {183} and most experienced connoisseurs are the first to confess. The utmost, therefore, that one can hope to do, without attempting in every case to arrive at accurate conclusions, is to indicate, as far as possible, such means as may be of assistance in ascribing a nationality, not to all, but to at least the majority of Renaissance ornaments.

 

ITALY, SIXTEENTH CENTURY

Italian jewellery of the sixteenth century presents what is probably one of the most difficult problems in the whole history of the art. In the fifteenth century the almost complete absence of examples necessitates recourse mainly to pictures; but Italian pictures of the sixteenth century are of comparatively small assistance, from the fact that Italian painters of that period mostly neglected the preciosity of style and delicacy of perception that studied the gleam and shimmer on jewels and such-like objects. The bright blending of beautiful colours had to give way to strong shadows and skilful effects of perspective. There exists, on the other hand, an abundance of material in the form of actual specimens of Cinquecento jewellery, but owing to the far-reaching influence of the Renaissance style of ornament a decision as to their precise provenance is a matter of the utmost difficulty.

The great popularity of one of the central figures of the late Renaissance—Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1572)—has for many years caused the finest examples to be attributed to him or to his school, often with complete disregard of their design, which can be traced in many cases to another source. It is unnecessary to give a biographical account of the famous Florentine goldsmith, for his life may best be studied in his own memoirs. More to the present purpose is it to attempt {184} to estimate the real position that Cellini should occupy, especially with regard to such examples of jewellery as have come down to the present day.

Upon the question of Cellini the artistic world has long been divided into two camps. The majority of those who have previously dealt with the subject have considered it sufficient to sum up the whole history of the jeweller's art of the sixteenth century under the name of this one artist, and to attribute everything important to him. The lively and singularly attractive narrative of his own life and adventures contains such candid glorification of himself and his work, that the temptation is strong to follow the majority, and, unmindful of his contemporaries, to associate with him, as he himself has done, the finest jewellery of the whole Renaissance. Eugène Plon, for example, Cellini's chief exponent, in his magnificent work, Benvenuto Cellini, Orfèvre, Médailleur, Sculpteur (1883), though eminently just, and on the whole fair in his attributions, cannot disguise an evident desire to ascribe to the Florentine goldsmith, or at any rate to his school, not only several jewels which might conceivably be associated with Cellini, but also several others of more doubtful origin. Among these is the important group of jewels in the Rothschild Collection in the British Museum, known as the Waddesdon Bequest, the real origin of all of which is held by those best entitled to judge to be incontestably German.

Cellini's critics, on the other hand, sceptical, and in the main dispassionate, have placed him under a more searching light, and despoiled him of the halo with which his own memoirs have encircled him. He remains, however, an excellent and many-sided artist, thoroughly versed in all the technicalities of his craft, and one who without doubt strongly influenced his contemporaries. Admirable goldsmith and jeweller as he certainly was, he is entitled to the highest distinction, {185} but not so much on account of the references in his Vita and Trattati to his own productions, as for his lucid treatment of technical questions.

"Artists," says Mr. Symonds, "who aspire to immortality should shun the precious metals." Despite all that has been said respecting such jewels as the Leda and the Swan at Vienna (Pl. XXIX, 5), the Chariot of Apollo at Chantilly, and the mountings of the two cameos, the Four Cæsars and the Centaur and the Bacchic Genii in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris, which have, with some degree of likelihood, been attributed to Cellini, the only quite authenticated example of his work as a goldsmith is the famous golden salt-cellar at Vienna. This object when looked at from the goldsmith's point of view, in the matter of fineness of workmanship and skill in execution, is seen to possess particular characteristics which should be sufficient to prevent the attribution to Cellini of other contemporary work, created by jewellers who clearly drew their inspiration from entirely different sources.

In endeavouring to affix a nationality to existing jewels, the only really serviceable landmarks are those furnished by the collections of engraved designs by German and French masters of ornament; and when these are compared with the contemporary work just spoken of, the common origin of nearly all becomes at once evident. Bearing in mind the skill and fame of the Italian goldsmiths, not only of Cellini, but of his contemporaries, such as Girolamo del Prato, Giovanni da Ferenzuola, Luca Agnolo, and Piero, Giovanni, and Romalo del Tovaloccio, the reason why the vast majority of extant jewels should follow German designs is difficult to understand. An authority no less reliable than Sir A. W. Franks has expressed an opinion that the designs of Dürer, Aldegrever, and other German artists were extensively used in Italy.[123] Italian goldsmiths did {186} not produce any such examples of engraved ornament for jewellery as did their confrères in Germany, France, and Flanders; but the current knowledge we possess of the art of the period renders it at least unlikely that the individuality which is the key-note of all the productions of the Italian Renaissance would have countenanced there, in Italy, the use of extraneous ready-made designs. Certainly artists of the stamp of Cellini would not have used them. One is forced nevertheless to acknowledge the possibility of minor Italian craftsmen having executed jewels from German engravings. The international character visible on so many art objects of the time must be attributed in no small degree to the circulation of such designs in almost all the workshops of Europe.

A reason for the many difficulties that arise in connection with this particular question seems to lie in the fact that for causes unexplained the jewellery of the first half of the sixteenth century, whether Italian, German, or of other nationality, has almost all vanished, and that examples met with at the present day belong chiefly to the second half of that century. While acknowledging the existence of a fair number of jewels whose authorship cannot be otherwise than Italian, and without denying the possibility of the survival of examples of jewellery even from the hand of Cellini himself, a protest must be raised against the practice, hitherto so common, of describing every jewel of the sixteenth century as Italian, and of coupling every high-class object of this description with the magic name of Cellini.


{187}

CHAPTER XXII

THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY
GERMANY, THE LOW COUNTRIES, HUNGARY

THOUGH introduced early into Germany, the style of the Italian Renaissance made its way but slowly in a country where the ideas of the Middle Ages long held possession of people's minds. It was not till after about 1515, when the spread of books and engravings quickened its general acceptance, that the new movement gained ground there. The German goldsmiths, when once they had cast aside the Gothic style, seized upon Renaissance ornament with such avidity that by the second half of the sixteenth century they had acquired a widespread fame, and would seem by their richness of invention to have completely cast into the shade the Italian jewellers of their own day.

From an early period there had been a steady flow of artists leaving Germany to study in the great Italian ateliers. The principal of these, and one who influenced his countrymen more than any, was Albert Dürer, who showed in the engravings produced after his journey to Italy a perfect apprehension of Italian design. As it travelled northward, Renaissance ornament increased in freedom from classic rule, and in the hands of the later draughtsmen and engravers who executed patterns for the goldsmiths, it lost much of its original purity, and assumed a mixed style, composed of strap and ribbon work, cartouches, and intricate complications of architectural {188} members; while the industrious affectation of the jewellers of the day for manipulative difficulties led to the production of ornaments whose effect is sometimes marred by over-elaboration of detail.

In addition to other circumstances, we must remember that the greater wealth of the middle classes was a powerful factor in the increasing production of jewellery. The goldsmiths consequently occupied an important position; and that there was a great demand for their services is proved by the fact that patterns for jewellery executed on their behalf by the foremost engravers of the day form no unimportant part of the engraved work produced by these artists.

In Germany, as elsewhere, success in trade resulted in a demand for objects of luxury. The city of Augsburg, situated on a great trade route, early attained to a height of commercial prosperity, while Munich, and especially Nuremberg, not far distant, flourished to an equal degree. Under the stimulating patronage of wealthy families, such as the Fugger family of Augsburg, articles of jewellery of every kind were produced in abundance, and throughout the sixteenth century found their way over nearly the whole of Europe. In addition to these three cities, Prague during the last few years of the sixteenth and the commencement of the seventeenth century was likewise a centre for the manufacture of an immense amount of enamelled jewellery. This industry, carried on with considerable activity owing to the influence of the Archduke Ferdinand of Tirol (1520-1595), brother of Maximilian II, was most flourishing in the time of the Emperor Rudolph II (1552-1612), King of Hungary and Bohemia, under whose patronage several remarkable specimens of German goldsmith's work now at Vienna were executed, such as the Austrian Imperial Crown, made in the year 1602.

The epoch of about forty years that terminated at {189} the death of Rudolph II in 1612, and known as the Rudolphine period, witnessed the production, mainly in Southern Germany, of the greater part of the enamelled jewellery now extant. Renaissance jewellery, as we speak of it, may be said to have almost ceased after that period, at a date which coincided with the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War in Germany, and the Civil War in England.

Its proximity to Italy rendered Augsburg more quickly subject to the influence of the Italian style than Nuremberg and Munich, though by the middle of the sixteenth century the whole of Southern Germany followed the style of decoration of the Italian masters so thoroughly, that it is difficult to assign a large proportion of the ornaments of the period to either nation, since the distinguishing feature of the hall-mark finds no place on jewellery, as on other objects in the precious metals. It is true that the extraordinary development of cartouche and strap ornament on German work, as on that of the Netherlands, serves in many cases to distinguish it from the Italian, yet there is sufficient similarity in details of ornamentation, in masks and figures, as well as in the method of enamel-work and the setting of gems, to account for the divergence of opinion that exists as to the provenance of all the jewels of the period. Such is the glamour that surrounds Italian art, that it has been the custom to assign every fine jewel of the Renaissance to Italy; but a careful examination of existing examples has left us convinced that by far the greater number of them are not Italian, but of German origin, and belong to the second half of the sixteenth century and the early years of the seventeenth. Portraits, alone, by such German painters as Wolgemut, Strigel, Burgkmair, Altdorfer, Hans Baldung Grien, Lucas Cranach, and Bartholomäus Bruyn, show that by the very commencement of the sixteenth century the wealth of the merchant {190} princes of Southern Germany resulted in an even greater display of jewellery than was indulged in by the Italians.

Various other considerations contribute to this conviction. First and foremost is the question of the designs from which the jewellers drew their ideas. A certain number of original drawings for jewellery by German artists exist. Of these there are examples of the work of the two greatest, namely Dürer (1471-1528) and Holbein (1497-1543). To Holbein's drawings, which were executed in England, detailed reference is made in a later chapter. In his designs for jewellery, as in all else, Dürer, the son of a goldsmith and descended from one on his mother's side, maintains a high standard of excellence.

His drawings (as catalogued by Lippmann) include the following: (1) In the Kunsthalle, Bremen. Three sketches for pendent whistles, where the sound-producing part is formed of a ball with a hole in it, into which the air is carried by a pipe. In two cases the ball is held in the mouth of a lion, and in the third in the beak of a cock. The animals stand each on a curved pipe, and have a ring above for suspension (L. 124). (2) In the British Museum. Two sketches for ring-shaped pendants—apparently whistles (Pl. XXVI, 1). In both cases is air blown from a mouthpiece half-way round the ring into a ball held in an animal's mouth (L. 252). (3) In the possession of Herr von Feder, Karlsruhe. Four designs for brooches and clasps, richly ornamented (L. 433-435, and 437). Two of these sketches (L. 433 and 437) and several others (the whereabouts of the originals of which is not known) were etched by Wenzel Hollar in the seventeenth century, and are enumerated in Parthey's catalogue of Hollar's works. The etchings after the two known originals are numbered 2565 and 2561. The other jewels etched by Hollar from Dürer's designs are the following: {191} (1) A pendant in the form of St. George and the Dragon within a laurel wreath, with a ring above and below (P. 165). (2) A girdle-end formed of two dolphins with a chain attached (P. 2559). (3) A buckle and buckle-plate—the buckle formed of two dolphins, the plate ornamented with two cornucopiæ (P. 2560). (4) A round scent-case or pomander (P. 2567). In addition are miscellaneous designs for ornaments, erroneously considered to be patterns for embroidery (P. 2562-3-4 and 2566). A charming representation of a pendent jewel is seen in Dürer's woodcut of the Emperor Maximilian's Triumphal Arch suspended from the Imperial Crown held by the figure of Genius.

PLATE XXVI

image designs for jewellery by dürer and holbein

Following Dürer there appeared a number of goldsmiths who, with the spread of the new style over Europe, were prepared to perform the task of remodelling personal ornaments in accordance with the taste of the day. The most ingenious of them, together with some artists of distinction, engraved with great fertility of imagination, for those who were not capable of design, patterns for goldsmith's work and jewellery. A large demand was made on the productive faculties of these engravers, who included among their ranks not only the best artists, termed from the usual small size of their productions "the little masters," but many other designers of goldsmith's ornament; and from their works, multiplied by means of engraving, the numerous craftsmen who worked in gold, enamel, and precious stones, drew their subjects and ideas.

On the question of the production of jewellery from such engraved designs, it is interesting to note the several points of similarity that exist in the procedure of the ornamentists of the sixteenth century and that of the English furniture-designers of the eighteenth. In both cases the original producers of the designs were practical craftsmen, who certainly executed objects after their published patterns; while {192} the patterns themselves were employed extensively as models. In both cases, too, it is quite evident that in a number of instances fanciful designs were produced which were never carried out. Hence one can readily understand the difficulties that are encountered in attempting to determine the provenance of such small and portable objects as personal jewels, the engraved designs for which were in like manner widely distributed. But there is the strong probability, after all, that the greater number of jewels, after engraved designs of German origin, were executed in, or not very far distant from the locality in which the designs originated.

If designs are considered insufficient for the identification of jewels, there exists a means much more certain, and one which should surely prevent the attribution to Italians of jewels unquestionably the work of German craftsmen. It may be remembered that Cellini in his Trattati, in dealing with the goldsmith's art, advised jewellers to preserve castings in lead of their works in gold and silver. In many cases Cellini's recommendation has been literally carried out, and a considerable number of proofs struck by German jewellers of details of their jewels have fortunately come down to us. The Bavarian National Museum at Munich contains a highly important collection of these leaden casts, being a complete series used by a family of gold and silver workers in Augsburg for upwards of 250 years (from about 1550 to 1800). The jewellers of Augsburg were among the first in Europe, and these models of their productions, bearing strong traces of the influence of contemporary ornamentists, correspond in many details with original jewels dating from those times.

Examples of these lead models for jewellery exist in other collections, such as the Historical Museum at Basle. Of the same material but of infinitely higher {193} artistic importance, are the lead models by the hand of Peter Flötner of Nuremberg. In addition to engraved designs, Flötner executed models for goldsmiths, carved in stone and boxwood. From these—of which original examples have survived—casts (so-called plaquettes) were made in lead, which were used as patterns for craftsmen in the same manner as engravings of ornament. Flötner's models, though issued mainly for workers in gold and silver plate, were employed also by the jewellers, and exercised considerable influence on their productions.

Few engraved designs for jewellery are prior in date to the year 1550, though nearly all the prominent painter-engravers delighted in exercising their inventive faculty in this direction. One or two plates of pendants by Brosamer, and a buckle and whistle by Aldegrever, represent almost the sole engravings of the kind before Virgil Solis—the first to devise a more ambitious series of jewels. Amongst the earliest is the Kunstbüchlein[124] or pattern book for goldsmith's work, by Hans Brosamer (about 1480-1554). These woodcuts, which are singularly attractive, are of a transitional character, with traces of Gothic design. They include two pages of pendants composed of stones between leafwork grouped round a central ornament and hung with pear-shaped pearls. One pendant consists of a niche between pillars—a similar style of ornament to that adopted by Androuet Ducerceau, and the first assignable instance, says Herr Lichtwark,[125] of the use of architecture in German jewellery of this time, though this same motive was frequently represented later on by Erasmus Hornick and Mignot. Three other pendants are in the form of whistles for wearing on the neck-chain. In an engraving for a whistle of a similar kind by Aldegrever (1502-1558), {194} the lower part is formed of a case containing an ear-pick and a knife for the finger-nails. Except for this design (which finds a place in the background of his engraving of the pair of folding pocket-spoons of the year 1539), Aldegrever's only example of jewellery is the remarkable Gothic girdle-buckle with its buckle-plate and tag (dated 1537). The characteristic fig-leaf ornament of the early German Renaissance is better represented here than on any other engraving of the period.

More modern in style is Mathias Zundt (1498-1586), whose compositions (dated 1551-1554) are carried out with great fineness. Zundt lived at Nuremberg, his great contemporaries, Virgil Solis and Erasmus Hornick being natives of the same city.

It was to Virgil Solis (1514-1562), one of the most skilful and prolific of the German Klein-Meister, that the jewellers and other craftsmen of the day owed their finest inspirations. Virgil Solis's beautiful series of pendants are executed with great charm and delicacy. They bear the character of a transition from the graceful foliage of the early to the full Renaissance, with its fanciful architectural forms, its scroll ornament, arabesques, animals, and grotesque human masks and figures (Pl. XXVII, 1, 2).

Erasmus Hornick likewise exercised a potent influence on the jewellery of the time. He engraved in 1562 a series of pendants, chains, and other jewels of the most delicate execution (Pl. XXVII, 4-6). The pendants in form of an architectural niche with the subject placed in the centre, are the prototype of all the jewels of this kind which we meet with subsequently in the prints of the Flemish engraver Collaert.

PLATE XXVII

image designs for jewellery by solis, woeiriot,
hornick, and brosamer

While many important engravings were being issued for the benefit of the jewellers of Nuremberg, a great quantity of jewellery was produced at Munich under the patronage of the Dukes of Bavaria. Duke Albert V had as court painter a skilful miniaturist, Hans Mielich {195} (1516-1573), whom he employed to paint in the form of an inventory exact copies in miniature of his jewels and those of his wife, Anne of Austria, preserved in his treasury. In addition to these drawings, now in the Royal Library at Munich, are a number of others, which came into the possession of Dr. von Hefner-Alteneck, and on his death in 1904 were purchased for the sum of £2,500 for the Bavarian National Museum.[126] Though the majority of these drawings for jewellery, in themselves works of extraordinary beauty, were copies of objects then already in existence, the presence of jewels similar to Mielich's designs leads to the supposition that this artist exercised a strong influence on the jewellers of his day, and that a number of jewels were also executed at the command of the Duke from original sketches of his. None of the actual objects depicted by Mielich have survived, save a large gold chain set with pearls, rubies, and emeralds, which corresponds, particularly in its rich enamel-work, to one of the drawings lately added to the National Museum. This chain is known as the collar of the Order of St. George. The size and quality of its stones and the great beauty of the enamelled settings render it, without doubt, the finest article of its kind in existence. It is preserved in the Royal Treasury (Schatzkammer) at Munich, together with a number of other objects of the same type.

The last decades of the sixteenth century saw the appearance of a new species of ornamental design, whose chief advocate, Theodor de Bry (1528-1598), of Liège, with his sons Johann Theodor and Johann Israel, settled in Frankfort-on-the-Main about 1560. It is a rich and varied surface decoration, often of white upon a black ground, composed of scroll ornament richly set with flowers, fruit, grotesques, and figures {196} of animals, the whole being charmingly designed, and engraved with great brilliancy of touch. In addition to his more famous knife-handles, de Bry executed several engravings for clasps, buckles, and metal attachments to girdles.

For the counterpart of the artistic style of de Bry one must look to the Low Countries and particularly to the work of the engraver Hans Collaert (1540-1622), of Antwerp, who developed remarkable fertility in the production of patterns for jewellery. Collaert's designs require special attention, because of the tendency, elaborated largely by him and other engravers of the school of Antwerp, towards exuberant cartouche ornaments with a mixture of extravagant and loosely arranged strap-work, and stud -or boss-work. This style, full of grotesques and arabesques, pervaded the work of every craftsman of the day, and dealt a final blow to any further development of pure Renaissance ornament. Collaert's chief series of pendants, eleven in number, published in 1581 under the title Monilium bullarum inauriumque artificiosissimæ icones, are probably the best known of all designs for jewellery of this epoch. One of these engravings, in particular, has been several times reproduced. It is a large pendant hung from a cartouche and surmounted by a figure of Orpheus with a lyre, with two seated female figures. The rest of the jewel is made up of scroll ornaments and bracket-shaped terminal figures, and is hung with three drop pearls. This pendant is of peculiar interest in connection with its bearing on what has already been said with regard to the attributions given to Cinquecento jewellery. Two striking instances of misapplied attributions of this kind may be quoted. In one[127] work the engraving in question is described as: "Pendant par Benvenuto Cellini (Musée de Florence)"; and in another[128] as: {197} "Gehänge in der Bibliothèque nationale zu Paris nach seinem [Cellini's] Model gearbeitet!"

It has been usual—while acknowledging the great influence of these engravings on the jewellery of the time—to doubt whether jewels exist which have been executed in exact imitation of them. To show that such designs were actually followed, we may point to a jewel figured by Herr Luthmer in his catalogue of Baron Karl von Rothschild's collection at Frankfort-on-the-Main, which follows in every detail the particular engraving by Collaert just mentioned as having been ascribed to Cellini. Collaert's influence was considerable in his day, and his compositions circulated not only in Flanders, but also in Germany and other prominent jewel-producing centres. Jewels are repeatedly met with, which, though they do not follow in every detail Collaert's published designs, are obviously inspired by them. A very notable example of such is a jewel, to be referred to subsequently (p. 247), in form of a gondola containing figures of Antony and Cleopatra, which was sold by auction in London for a very large sum a year or two ago. With Collaert were several minor designers of jewellery, such as Abraham de Bruyn (1538-after 1600), among whose engravings are seventeen models for pendants and portions of jewels in the style of the admirable French jeweller-engraver Etienne Delaune. Other Dutch and Flemish engravers of ornament belong more to the seventeenth century, and will be dealt with later.

At the furthest corner of Germany from Flanders was the ancient kingdom of Hungary, where jewellery was employed in almost Oriental profusion. The native costume is luxurious even at the present day, and in olden times the nobility made a practice of attaching to it a great part of their fortunes in the form of precious stones, which, in enamelled settings of button-shape, termed "boglars," were sewn on, or were mounted in {198} aigrettes, or set in girdles or dagger-sheaths. Independent jewels enriched with enamel-work in the Renaissance taste were produced, too, in considerable quantity. Fine examples of the latter are preserved in the museum at Buda-Pesth; while to the exhibition held there in 1884 Cinquecento jewellery of great beauty and wealth was lent by noble Hungarian families. All these display striking similarity to the jewels executed at Augsburg, Prague, and elsewhere in the latter part of the sixteenth and the early years of the seventeenth century. In addition to those which betray the influence of foreign styles, there are jewels of native work, whose surface is enriched with the so-called Draht-Email. This "filigree-enamel," which was executed from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century in Hungary and throughout the valley of the Danube, is composed of bright opaque colours fired between cloisons or partitions composed of twisted wire.

image Design for a pendent whistle by Hans Brosamer.

{199}

CHAPTER XXIII

THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY
FRANCE—SPAIN

THE campaigns of Charles VIII and Louis XII in Italy, and the patronage of Italian artists by Cardinal d'Amboise, brought a knowledge of Renaissance art into France. France was the first nation to adopt the style of ornament to which Italy had given birth, and at the very outset of the sixteenth century Italian influence made itself felt. From the reign of Francis I to that of Charles IX, French jewellery was closely modelled on the Italian, while many Italian jewellers took up their abode in France, and among them Cellini, who resided in Paris from 1540 to 1545.

Not since the days of Charles V had France witnessed such profusion of jewellery as was indulged in by the splendour-loving Francis I who exceeded even Henry VIII and Pope Paul III—two other great collectors of the day—in gathering together jewels and precious stones. We hear much of the jewellery of the day from Rabelais, who speaks of the rosaries, girdle-ornaments, rings, gold chains, jewelled necklaces and of the various kinds of precious stones worn both in articles of jewellery and scattered in profusion over the dress.

An incident of considerable interest is recorded to have taken place in the time of Francis I in connection with a supposed abuse of enamel on the part of the jewellers. The king's attention was drawn to the fact that when jewellery enamelled with opaque enamels, which were considered to weigh heavier than the clear {200} ones, came to be realised, the enamel was so much pure loss. So, in spite of a protest by some of the leading goldsmiths, who declared that the proper execution of the majority of articles of jewellery was impossible without opaque enamel, an ordinance was passed in 1540 forbidding its use. After three years, however, the king relented, and again permitted the jewellers the full exercise of the resources of their art, provided there was no superfluous excess in the use of enamel.

Under the last Valois kings, Charles IX and Henry III, the production of jewellery in France, as elsewhere, was greater than at almost any other period. Vivid descriptions of the rich jewellery of this time are furnished by the chronicler Brantôme.

Actual articles of French Renaissance jewellery are, it must be confessed, of great rarity. Almost the only extant specimens are the wonderful mounted cameos in the Cabinet des Médailles of the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris, the majority of which are presumably of French origin. From comparison of these with contemporary designs, the distinguishing features of the French jewellery of the time appear to be—a cartouche-shaped frame with comparatively unbroken outline, enriched with scroll ornament and occasionally with human figures and grotesques, a slight use of open-work, and the general employment of a central ornament.

Like the Germans, the French had excellent masters, who engraved models for jewellery of great beauty of design. The following are the chief maîtres ornemanistes who flourished in the sixteenth century:—Jean Duvet, known also as the Master of the Unicorn, born at Langres in 1485 and died about 1562, was goldsmith to Francis I and Henry II. His designs for small objects of personal use in the form of scrolls, flowers, and foliage, intended for execution in enamel, are among the earliest engravings in taille-douce produced for the purpose. Jacques Androuet Ducerceau (about {201} 1510-about 1585) worked chiefly at Orleans. His numerous engravings in the form of cartouches with rolled and voluted frames show the type of design mainly employed for pendants. His actual models for jewellery, numbering upwards of fifty, comprise clasps and brooches, and many pendants, including earrings (pp. 241 and 269).

After Androuet Ducerceau, the most famous jeweller of this time was Etienne Delaune, called Stephanus (1518-1595). He is said to have worked under Cellini during the latter's residence in Paris. In 1573 he moved to Strasburg, where the greater part of his work was produced. A "little master" par excellence, he engraved with extraordinary delicacy a number of exquisite designs for jewellery. Two of his engravings of slightly different design, both dated 1576, represent the interior of goldsmiths' workshops, and are of particular interest in illustrating the practice of the goldsmith's art and the equipment of the workshop at this period.

Designs for jewellery are the most interesting of the engravings of René Boyvin (1530-1598), of Angers. He appears to have been influenced by the Italian artists of Fontainebleau, and his plates of jewel-ornament, engraved with great skill in the style of Il Rosso, show considerable ingenuity and fancy in the combination of faceted stones and large pearls with human and fantastic figures.

More influential perhaps than any of the designs of the time are those of Pierre Woeiriot of Lorraine, who was born in 1532 and died after 1589. In 1555 Woeiriot settled at Lyons, where he produced a large number of engravings for jewellery. These, showing the greatest variety of design, include numerous patterns for rings, a dozen earrings, and ten pendent ornaments (Pl. XXVII, 3). These masterpieces of engraving and composition were published at Lyons in 1555 and 1561.

{202} Spain occupies a peculiar place with respect to its Renaissance jewellery. In the sixteenth century the Spanish Peninsula was perhaps the richest part of the civilised world. Even at a time when universal luxury in personal ornaments reigned, Spain made itself an object of note by its extraordinary display in this direction. The union under the same dominion of three of the most powerful countries of Europe coincident with the newly developed wealth of America resulted in a desire among all classes for a more luxurious style of living and for more sumptuous ornaments. The natural instinct of wealthy and cultured individuals to surround themselves with the choicest productions of the fine arts led to the importation of the best of such objects from other countries and of the first foreign craftsmen of the day.

Juan de Arphe, "the Spanish Cellini," himself of German extraction, devoted much attention to the naturalisation of Renaissance forms. Other jewellers also remained in so large a measure dependent on foreign influence, at first of Italian types, and then of the designs of French, German, and Flemish engravers of ornament, that it is often hard to arrive at a decision as to the precise provenance of their productions. But just as other works of art, the product of different countries, are stamped with certain indefinable characteristics, which in general circumstances may at once be detected, so jewels of Spanish origin betray the influence of national temperament in their composition and design. The series of drawings by Barcelona jewellers published by Davillier in his Recherches sur l'Orfèvrerie en Espagne, bear sufficient evidence of this native spirit.

Nevertheless, the majority of the surviving examples of the Renaissance jewellery of Spain approach at times very near to those of Germany. And there can be little doubt that the Nuremberg and Augsburg {203} jewels which, as has been shown, were in vogue not only all over Germany, but in France and England and the Low Countries, were imported and imitated, as Davillier says, by the goldsmiths of Spain.

The most important Spanish jewels of the sixteenth century are in the form of enamelled pendants. Of these the Victoria and Albert Museum possesses a collection, excelled by that of no other public museum, which acquired at the sale in 1870 of the treasures of the sanctuary of the Virgen del Pilar at Saragossa.

A species of pendant which in Spain above all places has always been popular was the reliquary. It assumed numerous shapes; and among the many kinds of adornment it received were small panels of painted glass commonly known as verres églomisés.

This so-called verre églomisé, which had been handed down from antiquity and was used in the Middle Ages, was brought to high perfection at the Renaissance. Adopted from Italy, where it was also employed for jewellery, it met with considerable favour in Spain in the sixteenth century (Pl. XLIII, 4).

The process employed in its production consisted in covering the under side of a plate of glass or rock crystal with gold leaf. On this were traced the outlines of the design intended to be reserved in gold, and the remainder of the gold was then removed. In the painting which followed, the finest details, the high lights, the shadows and flesh tints were first executed. Then came in successive applications, transparent varnishes of different colours and thicknesses, in accordance with the value of the tones desired. Small pieces of silver leaf were applied to certain parts to reflect the light and heighten the effect; and the whole was finally backed with a sheet of metal.[129]

Verre églomisé appears to take its name from one Glomy, a French craftsman of the eighteenth century, {204} who produced a special black and gold varnish which he applied to the back of glass. In a similar way his countrymen the Martins gave their name to the varnish of their invention. Verre églomisé, a somewhat unsatisfactory title, which came first into use in the latter part of the century, and was wrongly applied to paintings under glass of a similar order, has been retained ever since.

A peculiar and characteristic species of pendent ornament, numbers of which were produced in the seventeenth century chiefly at Barcelona, are certain badges worn by members of religious corporations. They are of open-worked gilt brass enriched with white, black, and blue opaque enamels fused into recesses stamped in the surface of the metal. These badges, which are either triangular, oval, square, or oblong in shape, are formed of two parts—a frame surrounded with rayed patterns, and a central portion ornamented with various designs (Pl. LIII, 5). Among the latter designs are crowned monograms of Christ or the Virgin, with emblems such as palm leaves, and the device of a nail and the letter S interlaced—a rebus for "Esclavo." Fitted in the back is usually a miniature under crystal. In point of technique these enamelled badges offer an interesting comparison with the well-known English enamels of the same date applied mainly to objects such as candlesticks and fire-dogs. Pendent badges of the same designs exist in gold. The collection of Señor de Osma at Madrid contains several examples.

To the seventeenth century belong also the characteristic "lazos" or bow-shaped jewels worn as breast-ornaments, made of open-work gold set with emeralds, and occasionally with other stones (Pl. LIII, 1). Of the same style are rings, also set with emeralds, and particularly long earrings, which have always been popular in Spain. The backs of these jewels are engraved with floral designs. The greater part of the Spanish jewellery {205} of the time is set with emeralds, which were acquired in quantities from Peru. Spain has always had a great reputation for these stones, which when of fine quality are still alluded to as "old Spanish emeralds." Emeralds are always subject to flaws and rarely free from them. The emeralds set in Spanish jewellery, though usually full of feathers, are nevertheless of great decorative value. Further reference will be made to Spanish work of the seventeenth century when the jewels of that period are dealt with.

The earlier Hispano-Moresque jewellery is of considerable rarity. It is often enriched with opaque enamel fired between cloisons formed of twisted wire. From the union of Moorish and Renaissance forms developed the Spanish peasant jewellery, usually fashioned of stout silver filigree parcel-gilt.

image Design for a pendant by Hans Brosamer.

{206}

CHAPTER XXIV

ENGLAND, SIXTEENTH CENTURY
(HENRY VIII—ELIZABETH—MARY STUART)

WITH the accession of Henry VIII a new period opens in the history of the jeweller's art. The spirit of the revival, which had previously affected only the Court, began to spread rapidly throughout the community, under the influence of the example set by the great jewellers of Italy. The King inherited an enormous treasury, and the display of jewellery on his own person and on that of his Court was prodigious. We are indebted to the Venetian ambassador, Giustinian, for the following graphic description of the King's personal adornment a year or two after his accession—

"He wore a cap of crimson velvet, in the French fashion, and the brim was looped up all round with lacets and gold enamelled tags.... Very close round his neck he had a gold collar, from which there hung a rough-cut diamond, the size of the largest walnut I ever saw, and to this was suspended a most beautiful and very large round pearl. His mantle was of purple velvet lined with white satin, the sleeves open, with a train more than four Venetian yards long. This mantle was girt in front like a gown, with a thick gold cord, from which there hung large golden acorns like those suspended from a cardinal's hat; over this mantle was a very handsome gold collar, with a pendent St. {207} George entirely of diamonds. Beneath the mantle he wore a pouch of cloth of gold, which covered a dagger; and his fingers were one mass of jewelled rings."[130]

Many a lively and detailed picture has been left us by the chronicler and lawyer, Edward Hall, of the equipage and adornment of Henry VIII on his coronation and at the court entertainments, and particularly of the famous meeting of the Cloth of Gold, where, in their insane desire to outshine each other, the English and French nobles entered into boundless extravagance in dress, and so loaded themselves with jewellery, that, in the words of Du Bellay, "they carried the price of woodland, water-mill, and pasture on their backs." Many are the elaborate descriptions of entertainments and pageants by the chroniclers Leland, Holinshed, and Stowe, in which rich jewellery figures; but Hall's Chronicle, the most minute in its accounts of contemporary fashions, teems with references to "Gold Smithe's woorke" and to the wealth of precious stones broidered on the garments. The passion for personal ornaments ran such riot that even foreign critics inveighed against Englishmen for their extravagance.

This love of jewellery was largely due to foreign fashions, which hitherto discountenanced, were growing popular at Court, in consequence of the increasing communication with the Continent. From the commencement of Henry's reign merchants and craftsmen from abroad swarmed in numbers into London, and Hall, who shared the characteristic English antipathy to all things foreign, gives an instance of an invasion by these alien artificers. It was on the occasion of a magnificent embassy from France in 1518 in connection with the betrothal of the Princess Mary to the Dauphin that there came, he says, "a great number of rascals and pedlars and jewellers, and brought over divers {208} merchantize uncustomed, all under the color of trussery [baggage] of the ambassadors." In accordance with the system of his predecessors in pursuit of their own personal interests, Henry VIII extended his protection to the foreigner, while the example of the French Court, the rivalry with Francis I, and the foreign proclivities of Wolsey and Cromwell induced him to patronise extensively foreign jewellers and merchants in precious stones. Occasionally Henry was a sufferer in his transactions with sharp Italian dealers; and Cellini relates a story of how a Milanese jeweller counterfeited an emerald so cleverly that he managed to palm off the same for a genuine stone on the sovereign of "those beasts of Englishmen," as he elsewhere terms them, for 9000 golden scudi. And all this happened, because the purchaser—who was no less a person than the King of England—put rather more faith in the jeweller than he ought to have done. The fraud was not found out till several years after.

A considerable number of the foreign craftsmen patronised by the King were Italians; but in jewellery the French influence seems to have predominated—judging by the frequent mention of jewels of "Paris work," and by the fact that the majority of the jewellers mentioned in the "King's Book of Payments,"[131] bear French names. Among those of foreign extraction the following were the most prominent: Robert Amadas, John Cryspyn, Allart Ploumyer, Jehan Lange, Cornelius Hays, Baptist Leman, John Cavalcant, John Baptista de Consolavera, Guillim Honyson, Alexander of Brussels, John of Utrecht, and John (Hans) of Antwerp. The mention, however, of such names as John Angell, Morgan Fenwolf (a Welshman), John Freeman, John Twiselton, Thomas Exmewe, Nicolas Worley, John Monday, and William Davy indicates the English nationality of several of the royal {209} jewellers—though it is well to remember the common tendency of the time to Anglicise foreign names.

Throughout the first half of his reign Henry placed huge orders in the hands of these craftsmen, but advancing years and an exhausted treasury appear to have somewhat diminished his expenditure on personal ornaments. Some interesting correspondence between the above-mentioned Jehan Lange, a jeweller of Paris, and certain of his native townsmen has been preserved.[132] "The King," he writes in 1537, referring to certain jewelled garments he had submitted to His Majesty, "was very glad to see such riches. He said he was too old to wear such things, but he has offered 4000 cr." To Allart Ploumyer he writes: "The King always makes good cheer, but he has grown cold, and we have not quite sold everything; for the gentlemen have spent their money in the war." "I find the King," he says in another place, "disinclined to buy, for he has told me he has no more money, and it has cost him a great deal to make war."

In spite of Lange's complaints, it was only just before his death that Henry VIII acquired a famous and magnificent historical jewel, the great pendant of Charles the Bold, last Duke of Burgundy.[133] In its centre was set the wonderful diamond—a deep pyramid five-eighths of an inch square at the base—believed to be the first on which Louis de Berghem tried his newly invented method of cutting. Around it were set three balas rubies, styled from their equality in size and weight the "Three Brothers," which, owing to their fine quality, were set open, without the foil with which stones were then usually backed. Between these were four enormous pearls (Pl. XXV, 3). According to the universal custom of his day, the Duke, accompanied by all his treasure when campaigning, carried this jewel {210} with him, partly to have it constantly under his personal supervision, and partly because of the magic properties then attributed to precious stones. Captured by a common soldier from his tent after his memorable defeat at the battle of Granson in 1475, the pendant came into the possession of the magistrates of Berne, and from them was purchased by Jacob Fugger, of the opulent merchant family of Augsburg, whose son, after keeping it for several years, disposed of it to Henry VIII. Fifty years later the jewel was still intact, and in James I's inventory of the crown jewels in 1603, it is thus described:[134] "A fayre Flower,[135] with three greate ballaces, in the myddest a greate pointed dyamonde, and three greate perles fixed, with a fayre greate perle pendaunte, called the Brethren." The last we hear of this famous jewel is in 1623, when it is described in the same words in the list of jewels removed from the Tower by James I, and handed over to his jeweller Heriot to be refashioned for the use of Charles and Buckingham on their visit to Spain. That it was then remounted is evident from the King's letter to his son, in which he says: "I send for your wearing the Three Brethren, that you knowe full well, but newlie sette."

About the year 1536 the great painter Hans Holbein, who had come to England several years previously, entered into the service of Henry VIII, and it was between that date and his death in 1543 that he executed those masterpieces of design for jewellery which will ever stand as a landmark in the history of the subject. There is no evidence to show that Holbein himself worked in the precious metals. But brought up under similar influences as had moulded the great Italian artists {211} of the Renaissance, Ghiberti, Pollaiuolo, Verrocchio, Francia, and Ghirlandaio, who combined the arts of painting, architecture, and sculpture with the jeweller's craft, he had been well grounded in the limitations of his materials, and knew how far the draughtsman could display his skill in this direction.

The most important of Holbein's designs for jewellery are preserved in the British Museum, to which they were bequeathed by Sir Hans Sloane in 1753. The collection, originally mounted in a quarto volume, termed Holbein's London Sketch-book, is now remounted and systematically arranged. The designs, comprising 179 separate items, are for the most part drawn with a pen with black ink, and then some slight touches of brown put in for the shadows. Several of the designs have the ground blackened, the ornaments being left in white. Some of the jewels, entirely coloured and often touched up with gold, are designed for enamelling in high relief; some are perhaps designed for execution in niello, though it is not improbable that these were intended to be ornamented with black champlevé enamel. The most attractive are the patterns for jewels enriched with precious stones and enamels, the majority of which were for neck pendants intended to hang from a chain, ribbon, or silken cord, itself sometimes shown in the drawing (Pl. XXVI).

The design of a few of these pendants is based upon the prevailing custom of wearing initials of the name either in embroidery or in pure gold attached to the garments. Some curious instances of this fashion are recorded by Hall, particularly in his graphic account of what took place at a masque given by Henry VIII at his palace at Westminster. Upon the King's invitation to divide the rich garments of the maskers sewn with letters of "fine and massy gold in bullyon as thicke as they might be," which generally went as largess to the ladies, a rabble of citizens, who were allowed to look on, {212} broke in, and "ranne to the Kyng and stripped hym into his hosen and dublet, and all his compaignions in like wyse. Syr Thomas Knevet stode on a stage, and for all his defence he lost his apparell. The ladies like wyse were spoyled, wherfore the Kynges garde came sodenly, and put the people backe, or els it was supposed more inconvenience had ensued." So pure was the gold of which these letters were composed that it is recorded subsequently that a "shipeman of London who caught certayn letters sould them to a goldsmyth for £3. 14. 8"—quite a considerable sum in those days.

In the same way jewelled initials were also frequently worn in the form of pendants and a jewelled B can be seen hanging from the neck of Anne Boleyn in her portrait in the National Portrait Gallery. Holbein's drawings contain several beautiful instances of this type of design, generally completed with three pendent pearls. One of them has a monogram of the initials R and E in chased and engraved gold set at the four corners with two rubies, an emerald, and a diamond. Another has the letters H and I (probably for Henry and Jane Seymour) with an emerald in the centre; and a somewhat similar jewel, formed of the sacred monogram, is worn by Jane Seymour in her portrait by Holbein at Vienna.

The designs for the larger pendants, mostly circular or lozenge-shaped, are set with sapphires, diamonds, rubies, and pearls, and terminate with large pear-shaped pearls. The spaces between the stones are filled with chased or enamelled arrangements of scroll or leaf work.

The smaller jewels, which might also have been worn as enseignes or badges on the hat, or as brooches, are of open goldwork with leaf or ribbon ornament set with stones and pearls. They include a very beautiful design of a half-length figure of a lady in the costume of the {213} period holding between her hands a large stone, upon which is the inscription well laydi well (Pl. XXVI, 9). The fifteenth-century traditions seem to have influenced Holbein in the design of this jewel, which at once calls to mind the Flemish-Burgundian brooches (an example of which, in the British Museum, has already been mentioned) ornamented with similar figures, full-faced, and holding a large stone before them.

The jewels actually executed from these designs were probably the work of Hans of Antwerp, known as John Anwarpe.[136] He was a friend of Holbein, and one of the witnesses of his will; and his portrait, painted by Holbein, is now at Windsor. Hans of Antwerp appears to have settled in London about 1514, having perhaps been induced to do so by Thomas Cromwell, who in early life resided for a time in Antwerp as secretary to the English merchants there. It was presumably Cromwell who, as "Master of the King's Jewel House," was instrumental in procuring for him the post of the King's goldsmith. His name occurs several times in Cromwell's accounts, and it was in accordance with the latter's "ryght hartye commendations" that he obtained the freedom of the Goldsmiths' Company of London. The chief duty of the King's goldsmith was to supply the New Year's gifts (estrennes), so popular at that time. These usually took the form of personal ornaments, and it seems likely that Holbein's famous sketches were specially designed for this purpose.

 

ELIZABETH—MARY STUART

However remarkable the Court of Henry VIII was for its profusion of jewellery, that of Queen Elizabeth, who inherited the Tudor love for display, was still {214} more extravagant. Throughout her reign—a period marked also upon the Continent for its prolific production of jewellery—the fashion set by the jewel-loving Queen for a superabundance of finery maintained its sway. The country suddenly becoming wealthy, was tempted, like one not born to riches, to use the whole in outward show, and this display was rendered comparatively easy by the influx of gold and precious stones after the Spanish conquests in America.

Numerous portraits of courtiers and court ladies afford ample evidence of the prevailing fashions in jewellery, while the portraits of the Queen herself, all overburdened with ornaments, are too well known to need detailed description.[137] "There is not a single portrait of her," says Walpole, "that one can call beautiful. The profusion of ornaments with which they are loaded are marks of her continual fondness for dress, while they entirely exclude all grace, and leave no more room for a painter's genius than if he had been employed to copy an Indian idol, totally composed of hands and necklaces. A pale Roman nose, a head of hair loaded with crowns and powdered with diamonds, a vast ruff, a vaster fardingale, a bushel of pearls, are features by which every body knows at once the pictures of Queen Elizabeth."

An excellent description of the jewellery of Elizabeth towards the close of her brilliant reign is given by Paul Hentzner, who visited England in 1598: "The Queen had in her ears two pearls with very rich drops; she wore false hair and that red; upon her head she had a small crown; her bosom was uncovered, and she had on a necklace of exceedingly fine jewels. She was dressed in white silk, bordered with pearls of the size of beans, and over it a mantle of black silk shot with silver threads; her train was very long. {215} Instead of a chain, she had an oblong collar of gold and jewels." To a courtier who knelt to her, "after pulling off her glove, she gave her right hand to kiss, sparkling with rings and jewels."

The best of all representations of that "bright occidental Star" is her faded waxwork effigy, still to be seen in Westminster Abbey—no other than the one which on the 28th of April, 1603, was carried on her coffin to the Abbey. It shows the veritable passion Elizabeth possessed for pearls. Her stomacher is encrusted with large Roman pearls, while strings of pearls hang round her throat and neck. Her earrings are circular pearl and ruby medallions, with huge pear-shaped pearl pendants.

Full of detail are the records of costly "juelles" that have come down to us, particularly in the list, preserved in the British Museum,[138] of the New Year's gifts presented to the Queen, from the fourteenth to the thirty-sixth year of her reign. The practice of exchanging presents on New Year's Day attained extraordinary proportions at the Court of Elizabeth, and was supplemented by birthday presents, which, as Her Majesty's weakness for jewellery was well known, took for the most part the form of personal ornaments of every kind. The very accurate accounts that were kept by the officers of the Queen's wardrobe of every item in her enormous store of jewellery is witnessed by a number of curious entries in her wardrobe-book of losses of jewellery sustained by Her Majesty.[139]

In addition to numerous inventories and wills full of information concerning the jewellery of the period, we have at our service, as in Roman times, the works of social satirists, such as The Anatomie of Abuses, by Philip Stubbes (1583), and Bishop Hall's poetical satires of 1597, to which we are indebted for many valuable details. In accepting these it is well to bear in mind {216} the common tendency of every age to ridicule its own fashions; yet, in spite of Puritan narrowness, and the exaggerated indignation of the satirist, it is manifest that extraordinary luxury and extravagance in dress and jewellery were prevalent not only at Court, but among all classes of the community.

Of greater importance, however, than the information to be gleaned from pictorial and literary sources is that derived from the actual jewels themselves, a considerable number of which, through all the changes and chances of more than three centuries, have been handed down still practically intact, and retaining the chief feature of their decoration—their exquisite enamel. Shakespeare, while appreciating the charm of its harmonious combination of colours, recognised, it appears, the delicacy of this beautiful medium, when in the Comedy of Errors he makes Adriana say:—

I see the jewel best enamelled
Will lose his beauty; yet the gold bides still,
That others touch, and often touching will
Wear gold.

The New Learning, which made itself felt in England during the reign of Henry VII, began at this time to exercise a direct influence on the choice of the designs of jewels and on the arrangement of their ornamentation. As witnesses of the intellectual revival, they often took emblematic forms, bearing in exquisite enamel-work fancy mottoes and devices, generally obscure in their interpretation, and intended to express the sentiments of their wearers, or those of donors, regarding the presumed state of mind of their recipients.

The passion for these reached its height in the golden days of Good Queen Bess, when it became the fashion for the bejewelled gallants who fluttered like a swarm of glittering insects around her to display their wit and ingenuity in devising jewelled emblems as fit presents to the Virgin Queen. Thus in the list of costly {217} articles of jewellery offered to Elizabeth, we meet with the present, made in Christmas week 1581, by some courtiers disguised as maskers, of a jewel in the form of "a flower of golde, garnished with sparcks of diamonds, rubyes, and ophales, with an agathe of her Majestis phisnamy and a perle pendante, with devices painted in it." The love for strange devices and enigmatical mottoes was fostered by the spirit of an age that witnessed the production of Lyly's Euphues and Spenser's Faerie Queene; while Elizabeth's colossal vanity prompted the dedication to her of highly laudatory mottoes, like the inscription on a jewel belonging to Mr. Pierpont Morgan: hei mihi quod tanto virtus perfusa decore non habet eternos inviolata dies. Few of the jewels of this stirring period display a more charming symbolism than those produced after the defeat and destruction of the Spanish Armada, whereon England is figured as an ark floating securely and tranquilly on a troubled sea, surrounded by the motto, saevas tranquilla per undas. The most remarkable of these Armada jewels is Mr. Pierpont Morgan's, just mentioned, and another of the same class in the Poldi-Pezzoli Museum, Milan.

A jewel more characteristic of the period than any other, and an historical relic of singular interest, is that chef d'œuvre of inventive genius—the Lennox or Darnley jewel, the property of His Majesty the King. It is covered inside and out with the most elaborate symbolism, and contains altogether no less than twenty-eight emblems and six mottoes (Pl. XXVIII, 4). Internal evidence proves this remarkable jewel to have been made by order of Lady Margaret Douglas, mother of Henry Darnley, in memory of her husband, Matthew Stuart, Earl of Lennox, who was killed in 1571.

Among many other examples of Elizabethan jewellery, there stand out above the rest a certain number to which, besides their high artistic excellence, is attached {218} the additional interest of historical associations. To this class belong the following important jewels: the Berkeley heirlooms, belonging to Lord Fitzhardinge; the Drake jewels, the property of Sir Francis Fuller-Eliott-Drake; the Wild Jewel (Miss Wild); the Barbor Jewel (Victoria and Albert Museum); and the Phœnix Jewel (Sloane Collection, British Museum). Public and private collections likewise contain a considerable number of enamelled miniature cases furnished with loops for suspension, and cameos set with jewelled and enamelled mountings of the period.

The Berkeley heirlooms, among which is the Anglo-Saxon ring already mentioned, include the Hunsdon Onyx, the Drake pendant in form of a ship, Edward VI's Prayer Book, and a crystal armlet. These exquisite jewels, according to tradition, were presented by Queen Elizabeth to her cousin Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon, who died in 1596. They then passed to his son George, the second Baron Hunsdon, who so highly valued them, that he bequeathed them on his death, in 1603, to his wife, and afterwards to his only daughter Elizabeth, with strict injunctions to transmit the same to her posterity, to be preserved (according to the actual terms of his will) "Soe longe as the conscience of my heires shall have grace and honestie to perform my will, for that I esteeme them right jeweles, and monumentes worthie to be kept for theire beautie, rareness, and that for monie they are not to be matched, nor the like yet knowen to be founde in this realme." The jewels mentioned, which came into the Berkeley family through the marriage of the above-named Elizabeth Carey with Lord Berkeley, are still preserved at Berkeley Castle.

PLATE XXVIII

image renaissance jewellery of enamelled gold
(the property of his majesty the king)

Further reference to these and other remarkable Elizabethan jewels will be given when the special species of ornaments to which they belong is being dealt with. There is one jewel of this date, however, which, though it no longer exists, is of particular interest from the {219} fact that it is specially mentioned in the famous inventory of Charles I's collection drawn up by Abraham Van der Doort in 1639.[140] This golden jewel, we learn, was round, and hung with a small pendent pearl; one side was enamelled with a representation of the battle of Bosworth Field, and the other with the red and white roses of Lancaster and York upon a green ground. Within were four miniatures, Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Queen Mary. The miniatures are still preserved at Windsor Castle, but shorn of their enamelled case, which has long since disappeared. The jewel was bought by the King, so Van der Doort tells us, from "young Hilliard," son of the famous miniaturist Nicholas Hilliard, who, besides painting the miniatures, probably also executed the enamel-work upon the jewel itself. Hilliard, like the artists of the Renaissance already cited, had been brought up as a goldsmith and jeweller, and, as we see by the inscription which he placed round his own portrait, held an appointment as goldsmith at Elizabeth's Court; while his knowledge and love of jewellery are admirably displayed in his miniatures, in which every jewel is painted with faultless accuracy and care.

The mention of Hilliard introduces to our notice the other creators of the beautiful jewellery of the period. English work continued to be influenced by the Continent; and engraved designs for jewellery by the Frenchmen Ducerceau and Woeiriot, and by the eminent goldsmith and engraver Theodor de Bry, who himself worked in London in 1587 and the two following years, must have been well known and imitated in England. In spite of this, however, it would appear that Englishmen were no longer actually dependent for their jewellery upon foreigners. The latter ceased to hold the virtual monopoly they had once enjoyed; and their place was taken by a number of native craftsmen. {220} Among these, the following were the most prominent: Dericke Anthony, Affabel Partridge, Peter Trender, and Nicolas Herrick—elder brother of William Herrick, James I's jeweller, and father of Robert Herrick the poet. During the latter years of her reign Hugh Kayle and his partner Sir Richard Martin supplied the Queen with jewels as New Year's gifts and presents to ambassadors amounting to upwards of £12,000.

Enough has been said to demonstrate that the reign of Elizabeth, fertile in great events, was productive of much important jewellery, whose charm, excellence, and historic interest have, up to the present, by no means received the attention they deserve. And it may be stated, without prejudice, that jewels of the period which bear a clear stamp of English origin compare favourably, nay even advantageously, with the productions of contemporary jewellers of the Continent.


The jewels of the unhappy Mary Stuart form a subject of peculiar interest. Like her jealous rival Queen Elizabeth, Mary was most lavish in her display of jewellery. In addition to the crown jewels she had a profusion of personal ornaments, her own private property. Her inventories, published by the Bannatyne Club (1863), furnish many a vivid description of the splendid objects which, during the course of her turbulent life, she bestowed on her friends or lost under stress of circumstances. They have further acquired quite an historical celebrity "from the frequency with which they were claimed by their unfortunate mistress in her appeals for mercy and justice during her long captivity, and the rapacity with which her royal jailer and other enemies sought or retained possession of these glittering spoils."

It is impossible here to enter into details respecting the many beautiful things recorded in her inventories, {221} or the strange vicissitudes that they underwent. Their dispersal would seem to have begun with her infatuated passion for Bothwell. The number of jewels she lavished on him when they parted on Carberry Hill, those she distributed as personal gifts, and others that served in the various emergencies in which the unfortunate Queen found herself, afford some idea of the extraordinary quantity of precious articles in her possession. A few of Mary's actual jewels, such as the Duke of Norfolk's rosary and jewelled necklace, the Duke of Portland's jewelled cameo, and the Penicuik jewel, have been preserved to our own day. Along with the historical documents must rank the Leven and Melville portrait—the brilliant centre-piece of Mr. Andrew Lang's Portraits and Jewels of Mary Stuart. As far as jewellery in general is concerned, this portrait may be said to merit greater consideration than any picture of its own or of other times, in that it displays a complete parure of contemporary jewellery, each item of which is entered and described in detail in the personal inventories of the individual it represents.


{222}

CHAPTER XXV

RENAISSANCE HEAD-ORNAMENTS
(ENSEIGNES, AIGRETTES, HAIR-PINS, EARRINGS)

THE origin of the ornaments for the hat or cap, known generally as enseignes, has been mentioned in dealing with the jewellery of the Middle Ages. At the period of the Renaissance, the enseigne—the "bijou par excellence" it has been termed—was above all the recipient of the very highest workmanship, and formed the subject of varied designs of the most ingenious character. By the beginning of the fifteenth century fashion had already turned hat-badges almost entirely into articles of adornment, and judging by that worn by King Dagobert in Petrus Christus's picture of 1449, and, amongst many other portraits, by that of Richard III in the National Portrait Gallery, these jewels were composed of goldsmith's work, enamelled, and set with precious stones. In the sixteenth century the majority of enseignes seem always to have borne some figured design; and Cellini, referring to the year 1525, says: "It was the custom at that epoch to wear little golden medals, upon which every nobleman or man of quality had some device or fancy of his own engraved; and these were worn in the cap."

For a considerable time the earlier religious badges sold at places of pilgrimage continued to be worn. Though enseignes very frequently bore some religious representation, or the figure or emblem of some patron saint, they ended, like other articles primarily religious, {223} by becoming purely secular, and took the forms of devices of a fanciful or even humorous character.

Every one from the highest rank downwards had his personal devise or impresa, or more often a series of them. It was worn as an emblem—an ingenious expression of some conceit of the wearer, the outcome of his peculiar frame of mind. It usually contained some obscure meaning, the sense of which, half hidden and half revealed, was intended to afford some play for the ingenuity of the observer. The love of the time for expressing things by riddles led to the publication of sets of emblems, like those of Alciatus, which had imitators in all directions. Every one, in fact, tried his hand at these "toys of the imagination."

Numbers of enseignes are mentioned in the inventories, and male portraits very commonly exhibit this form of decoration. Women also wore them upon the hat or in the hair, but not until about the middle of the sixteenth century. The hat was turned up so as to show the lining, and the badge was usually placed under the rim, at the side, and somewhat to the front of the hat. Some of these medallions are furnished with a pin, like a brooch; but as the majority have loops at the edge, or are pierced with holes for the purpose of sewing them to the head-dress, they can as a rule be distinguished from ordinary brooches. Pendants of the same form as those hung from neck-chains also appear occasionally as enseignes upon the hat.

In England, during the sixteenth century, brooches, owches, or nowches, as they were often called, were extensively worn in caps and hats[141] as men's jewels in particular; and besides these there were jewelled hat-bands {224} richly decorated with precious stones. The chronicler Hall mentions that on one occasion, in 1513, Henry VIII wore a hat called a "chapeau montabyn" which was adorned with a rich band or coronal, and had in addition an enseigne, for "ye folde of the chapeau was lined with crimsyn saten; and on yt a riche brooch withe ye image of sainct George." An enamelled brooch of this design modelled in full relief with the figure of St. George and the dragon, with the Princess Sabra in the background, is preserved amongst the exceedingly interesting series of jewels in His Majesty's collection at Windsor Castle. It is of gold, finely chased, brilliantly modelled, and surrounded with an open wire balustrade enamelled green. This brooch, traditionally believed to have been worn by Henry VIII, is known as the Holbein George; but internal evidences tend to prove the unlikelihood of Holbein having had any hand in its construction. It appears to be of Venetian origin—though not without some traces of German influence—and to date from the first few years of the sixteenth century (Pl. XXVIII, 2).

There exist several other jewels, the majority of them hat-ornaments, executed in this so-called "gold wire" enamel,[142] of the same exquisite and rare style of workmanship, and all possessing a singular likeness to that at Windsor, both in the patterns of the dresses worn by the figures represented on them, and in general treatment, particularly of the hair of the figures, which is formed of ringlets of spiral twisted gold wire. Among other examples are two in the Salting Collection, another which was lately in the collection of Sir T. Gibson Carmichael,[143] and a fourth in the Cabinet des Antiques in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

The wide range of subjects chosen for hat-ornaments {225} can best be judged from the lists of "bonnets" in Henry VIII's possession in the years 1526 and 1530, enriched with a variety of brooches.[144]

Representations of enseignes in pictures are too frequent to permit of any attempt to enumerate them. It is impossible, however, to refrain from drawing attention to the fine male portraits of Bartolommeo Veneto, an artist of marked individuality of character, who worked at Venice from about 1505 to 1530. He appears to have delighted in painting with peculiar care the beautiful enseignes worn by his sitters—attractive jewels enamelled in ronde bosse, and contemporary with the Windsor "George" and its fellows. The examples of his work that display such ornaments in the most striking manner are in the following collections: Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Dorchester House, London; the Crespi Gallery, Milan; the collection of Baron Tucher at Vienna; and the National Gallery, Rome.[145]

One of the most exquisite jewels of the Renaissance is a medallion of enamelled gold numbered 5583 in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris. It is oval, and in a space of 2 by 2316 inches contains a composition of no less than twelve men and eight horses in high relief, representing a battle. Horsemen and foot-soldiers in antique armour are engaged in furious combat, and many have fallen. One horseman carries a banneret which flies in the wind. The background is enamelled green, and the figures, delicately modelled, are white, save for their armour and weapons, which are reserved in the gold. The frame of the jewel is furnished with four loops, which clearly explain its use (Pl. XXIX, 2). Its design offers an interesting comparison with two cameos (Nos. 643 and 644), themselves fanciful renderings of the subject of another cameo (No. 645), and an {226}intaglio, the work of Matteo del Nassaro, in the same collection, both undoubtedly inspired by the famous painting after Raphael, known as the Battle of Constantine at the Milvian Bridge (a.d. 312), in the so-called Gallery of Constantine in the Vatican.

Among the jewels in the public collections in London, which on account of their design or form were presumably intended to be worn in the hat or cap, there are several noteworthy examples. The Wallace Collection contains a circular gold enseigne, repoussé, chased, and partly enamelled, with a representation of Judith carrying the head of Holofernes. It is probably Italian. In the Waddesdon Bequest at the British Museum is an oval badge enamelled in relief with the Judgment of Paris. It is of the same minute style of work as that of the "Battle-Piece," and is of striking similarity to a drawing by Hans Mielich, in the Royal Library, Munich.[146]

An enseigne in the Victoria and Albert Museum—perhaps the most beautiful of all, and probably the work of a Florentine goldsmith—represents the head of John the Baptist on a charger. The caput Johannis in disco, a favourite subject in mediæval art both in painting and sculpture, was also popular for personal ornaments. This symbol of the Precursor was no doubt phylacteric, for the efficacy of his intercession was most highly esteemed against epilepsy and other disorders. The enseigne in question, contemporary with one described as a "St. John's head in a dish" in Henry VIII's possession in 1530, is of gold, one and five-eighths of an inch in diameter, and shaped like a circular dish. It has a corded edge, and round the rim, in pierced and raised letters, now only partially enamelled, are the following words: non · surexsit · inter · natos · mulierum. The sunk centre is {227} covered with translucent ruby enamel, and in the middle is the head of the saint in gold and white enamel. The head is delicately modelled, and such care has the artist displayed in its execution that he has shown above the eyebrow the gash which Herodias, according to the legend,[147] on receiving the head from Salome, inflicted on it with a pin from her hair, or with a knife seized from the table where the feast had taken place (Pl. XXIX, 1).

PLATE XXIX

image renaissance enseignes

All the four enseignes last mentioned are examples of the method of executing these ornaments described in Cellini's famous treatise[148] on the goldsmith's art, where he extols the goldsmith Caradosso as a craftsman skilled above all others in their production. The work is repoussé; the St. John's head being also worked into full relief by this process, and then applied to the dish. Such repoussé figures were frequently attached to an independent background formed of lapis-lazuli, agate, or some other precious substance.

The revival of the art of gem-engraving led to a large demand for cameos—themselves more suitable for decorative purposes than intaglios—as personal ornaments. "It was much the custom of that time," says Vasari, writing of the gem-engraver Matteo del Nassaro, "to wear cameos and other jewels of similar kind round the neck and in the cap." Matteo produced many admirable cameos for use as enseignes for Francis I and the nobles of his Court, almost every one of whom carried on their persons some example of his work. On jewels of this kind parts of the figures were occasionally executed in cameo, and the remainder in gold, chased and enamelled; but more frequently figures were worked entirely in hard material, and then, {228} in accordance with the artistic taste of the time, enclosed in borders, enriched with enamel and jewel-work of the most exquisite variety of design. Unhappy vicissitudes, like those which the gems at Florence have undergone,[149] have in course of time despoiled many a cameo of its rich setting. Yet in the great public gem collections of London, Paris, Vienna, St. Petersburg, Berlin, Munich, and Dresden, as well as in the cabinets of private collectors, are to be found a number of beautiful examples of the jeweller's art at its best period, which have been preserved on account of the cameos they served to adorn.

The finest enseigne that displays cameo and enamelled gold worked together in combination is Cellini's exquisite "Leda and the Swan," in the Münz-und-Antiken-Kabinet at Vienna. The head and the torso of the figure of Leda is in cameo—the latter being an antique fragment; the remainder of the jewel is of gold, enriched with enamels, diamonds, and rubies. This is considered to be the actual jewel executed by Cellini at Rome about 1524 for the Gonfalonier Gabriele Cesarini[150] (Pl. XXIX, 5).

By far the most extensive collection of mounted cameos is preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris. The majority of these jewels which follow the cartouche form are presumably of French fabrique, though a decision as to their precise provenance is here, as ever, a matter of considerable difficulty. Among brooches or medallions for the hat, whose purpose is clearly indicated by the presence of a pin or holes for attachment, the most noticeable are four, numbered respectively 595, 465, 513, and 1002. The first, bearing the head of a negro in agate, encircled with a band of {229} rubies, has an outer border of open scrollwork, of white, heightened with red enamel. On each side and below is a table diamond; and above, a crown set with triangular faceted diamonds (Pl. XXIX, 4). Lack of space precludes detailed reference to the other three enseignes de chaperon. They are equally attractive, both on account of their design and the high quality of their workmanship.

Those unable to afford such costly ornaments wore hat-brooches or medallions in cheaper materials, either bronze or copper. These were cast or stamped, and not, like the more magnificent enseignes of gold, executed by the repoussé process. The work of the earlier medallists was produced by means of casting, the medallions being afterwards delicately chased. From the beginning of the sixteenth century, medallists, who, it may be remembered, were mostly jewellers and gem-engravers as well, executed engraved dies, from which their medallions were struck instead of cast. The majority of smaller medallions so generally worn as hat-badges were multiplied by the newer process of stamping, and pierced with holes for attachment to the head-dress. They were afterwards gilded and occasionally enriched with enamel. Further information about the cheaper class of enseignes is met with in Bernard Palissy's Art de la terre, according to which the enamellers of Limoges, owing to competition, had to supply figured hat-badges at trois sols la douzaine. "Which badges were so well worked and their enamels so well melted over the copper that no picture could be prettier." Brooches of even cheaper materials are alluded to by Shakespeare in Love's Labour's Lost, when Biron and Dumain, ridiculing Holofernes, who acts as Judas in the pageant of the Nine Worthies, exclaim:—

Biron. Saint George's half-cheek in a brooch.
Dumain. Ay, and in a brooch of lead.
Biron. Ay, and worn in the cap of a tooth-drawer.

{230} The fashion for enseignes lasted until about the second quarter of the seventeenth century. During this later period they were generally worn in the hats of persons of wealth and distinction, in the form of a cluster of precious stones[151] (Pl. XXXIV, 3); while the enseignes with figured compositions appear to have fallen into disuse. The remarkable letter addressed by James I to Charles and Buckingham in Spain, in 1623, deals chiefly with jewelled hat-brooches of this kind (p. 300). Hat-bands richly jewelled were likewise worn; and among the jewels sent to Spain for the use of the Prince was a magnificent hat-band "garnished with 20 diamonds set in buttons of gold in manner of Spanish work." It was made up of the following stones, representing every mode of cutting employed at the time: 8 four-square table diamonds, 2 six-square table diamonds, 2 eight-square table diamonds, 2 four-square table diamonds cut with facets, 2 large pointed diamonds, 1 fair heart diamond, and 3 triangle diamonds.[152]

 

AIGRETTES

At the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth century an aigrette was often worn in the hat, a jewelled brooch being employed to hold it. The latter was sometimes in the form of a pipe or socket into which the stems of the feathers were inserted. A fine example of this class of ornament, discovered at Lauingen in the coffin of Otto Henry, Count Palatine of Neuburg (d. 1604), is now preserved with the rest of the jewels of the same family in the Bavarian National Museum at Munich. It is in the shape of a heart open-worked and enriched with enamel, and has in the centre {231} the letters D.M.—initials of his wife Dorothea Maria—set with rubies. Behind is a tube for the reception of an aigrette of herons' feathers (Pl. XXX, 3).

PLATE XXX

image jewelled hat-ornaments, (aigrettes, etc.)
late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries

Though never in general use, feathers with settings mounted with precious stones and attached by jewelled brooches were worn long before this date; and Charles the Bold's hat—chapeau montauban—(Lambecius, Bib. Caes. Vindobon., II, p. 516) was enriched with feathers of this description magnificently jewelled.

About the commencement of the seventeenth century the feather aigrette was often replaced by one of precious stones. A jewel of this form is in the Waddesdon Bequest. It is 3½ inches in height, and formed of five plumes—three jewelled with rubies and diamonds and the others enamelled white—rising from an open-worked ornament in the form of military trophies, enamelled and set with four diamonds. A design for an aigrette of almost exactly the same style may be seen among the engravings for jewellery by the Augsburg goldsmith Daniel Mignot. The engravings of Paul Birckenhultz (c. 1617) likewise contain designs for similar ornaments. These jewelled aigrettes were much in fashion in England at the time of James I, and a "feather jewel" or "jewel of gold in fashion of a feather, set with diamonds," is mentioned several times in the royal accounts. The finely executed drawings for jewellery in the Victoria and Albert Museum by Arnold Lulls, jeweller to James I, include four coloured designs for jewelled aigrettes (Pl. XXX, 1). They are provided with short, stout pins, and set with rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and diamonds, arranged in the most tasteful manner, and are evidently intended to be further enriched with enamel. Other jewelled aigrettes in favour in the seventeenth century were composed solely of precious stones. Reference will be made to these in a later chapter dealing with the ornaments of that period.

 

{232}

HAIR-PINS

Besides the enseigne worn occasionally by ladies, the jewelled aigrettes of more frequent use, and the gold circlets set with precious stones, more elaborate forms of head-decoration were employed. Though these were often entwined with ropes of pearls and sprinkled with precious stones, they belong rather to costume proper. There remain, however, hair-pins, of which we obtain a certain amount of information from the inventories, and from the few actual specimens that still remain.

Hair-pins, like other articles of Renaissance jewellery, are remarkable for their variety of design, particularly as far as the heads of the pins are concerned. In the Germanic Museum at Nuremberg are several hair-pins with heads variously ornamented, one of them being in the form of a small enamelled hand. The shaft of the pin is often flat, open-worked and enamelled; occasionally the head is attached to it by a ring and hangs loosely from it. A gold enamelled hair-pin is among the jewels of Princess Amalia Hedwig (d. 1607), the contents of whose coffin, opened in the eighteenth century with those of the Counts Palatine of Neuburg at Lauingen, are now in the Bavarian National Museum. This pin has a small open rosette hanging loosely from it set with five diamonds and five pendent pearls. Contemporary portraits show how these pins were worn, and in a portrait of a young woman by Peter Moreelse in the Rotterdam Gallery, just such a pin is seen thrust in under the close-fitting lace cap so that the pendent head rests upon the forehead.

In the inventories of the time hair-pins are termed bodkins; and among Queen Elizabeth's New Year's gifts are several of these richly decorated bodkins. {233} Thus: "A bodkyn of golde, garnished at the ende with four smale diamondes and a smale rubye, with a crown of ophales, and a very smale perle pendant peare fashone." "A bodkin of golde, with a flower thearat, garnished with smale rubyes and ophals on one side." "A bodkinne of silver, with a little ostridg of gold, pendant, enamuled, and two waspes of golde lose enamuled." In the inventory of jewels of Anne, Duchess of Somerset, second wife of the Protector Somerset (1587), is "a bodkynne of golde, with clawes in the ende, inamyled blacke."

 

EARRINGS

The fashion of wearing the hair over the ears, which, as we have seen, completely banished earrings from among the ornaments of the Middle Ages, greatly checked their use during the sixteenth century. In Italian pictures one finds here and there some traces of them, but compared with the profusion of other ornaments, their almost complete absence is somewhat surprising. The most remarkable instance of their use is the beautiful portrait of a lady by Sodoma, or by Parmigianino, in the Städel Institute at Frankfort, where are seen elaborate earrings of open-work scroll pattern with three pendent pearls. They measure upwards of two and a half inches in length. The so-called Fornarina in the Tribuna of the Uffizi wears a small gold pendant in the form of an amphora attached to a simple ring; while in the portrait by Angelo Bronzino in the Pitti Gallery, supposed to be that of Bianca Cappello (1548-87), wife of Francesco de' Medici, the lobe of the ear is pierced twice, and the two rings placed in it support a {234} pendant formed of two pearls mounted in gold, with three hanging pearls below.

image Earring, from Portrait of a Lady by Sodoma (Frankfort Gallery).

In the second half of the sixteenth century, with the altered mode of wearing the hair, earrings, though still rare in pictures, appear to have come more into fashion, and the prints of Woeiriot, Collaert, Birckenhultz, and other engravers of the day, as well as a number of examples in the various museums, show the types then in use.

English portraits of the first half of the sixteenth century do not exhibit these ornaments, but when they appear later on, as in the numerous portraits of Queen Elizabeth, they are usually in the form of pear-shaped pearl drops. Mary Queen of Scots appears to have generally worn earrings, judging by the inventory of her jewels in 1561,[153] which contains a very large number, including the following: "Deux pendans doreille faictz en facon de croix de Hierusalem esmaillez de blanc—Deux petis pendans doreille garniz de deux petittes perles de facon de doubles ames—Deux petis pendans doreille dor emplis de senteure."

The use of earrings, curiously enough, was not confined to women, and we find men, even the sedatest, wearing them. "Women," says Philip Stubbes in his Anatomie of Abuses (1583), "are so far bewitched as they are not ashamed to make holes in their ears, whereat they hang rings, and other jewels of gold and precious stones; but this," he adds, "is not so much frequented among women as among men." This custom appears to have originated in Spain, where the use of earrings was pretty general among both sexes, and as the result of Spanish influence was introduced into France at the luxurious Court of Henry III. The fashion subsequently came to England, where it was generally affected by the courtiers of Elizabeth and {235} James I, as is clear from contemporary male portraits, where an earring is worn, as a rule, in one ear only. Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset, is seen in the National Portrait Gallery wearing a ruby earring; while the Duke of Buckingham was particularly noticeable for the splendour of his diamond earrings. Commenting on the degeneracy of his contemporaries, Holinshed in his Chronicle (1577) observes: "Some lusty courtiers also and gentlemen of courage do wear either rings of gold, stones, or pearl in their ears, whereby they imagine the workmanship of God to be not a little amended." In a splendour-loving time one might expect to find such ornaments among courtiers, but that earrings were worn also by men of action and men of parts is evident from the portraits of Shakespeare, Sir Walter Raleigh, and the Earl of Southampton.

The use of earrings among men continued to the time of Charles I, and in Lenton's Young Gallant's Whirligigg (1629) a fop is described with—

Haire's curl'd, eares pearl'd, with Bristows[154] brave and bright, Bought for true Diamonds in his false sight.

King Charles himself followed the general fashion and hung a large pearl in his left ear. This he wore even on the scaffold, where he took it from his ear and gave it to a faithful follower. It is still preserved, and is now owned by the Duke of Portland. It is pear-shaped, about five-eighths of an inch long, and mounted with a gold top, and a hook to pass through the ear.

Earrings, together with similar luxuries, vanished at the time of the Protectorate; men are not seen wearing them after the Restoration, though they are still in use among certain classes on account of their supposed value as preservatives against affections of the eyes.


{236}

CHAPTER XXVI

RENAISSANCE NECKLACES, NECK-CHAINS, AND COLLARS

NECKLACES or neck-chains worn by both sexes are a prominent feature in Renaissance jewellery. Just as in primitive times the neck was encircled by a torque, so at this later period it was the custom to carry heavy chains of pure gold, which were worn in different ways, either round the throat, or else upon the shoulders and low down over the breast. Sometimes one long chain was wound several times round the neck so that the uppermost row closely encircled the throat. Not satisfied with one, women in particular occasionally wore as many as half a dozen chains of different design covering the body from neck to waist.

From the fifteenth until the middle of the seventeenth century neck-chains were a frequent adjunct to male costume, and allusion is made to them in Barclay's Ship of Fools (printed by Pynson in 1508):—

Some theyr neckes charged with colers, and chaynes
As golden withtthes: theyr fyngers ful of rynges:
Theyr neckes naked: almoste vnto the raynes;
Theyr sleues blasinge lyke to a Cranys wynges.

Men's necklaces, apart from the chains and collars of distinction belonging to particular orders or guilds, seem to have been mostly of pure gold, and in the {237} reign of Henry VIII the fashion of wearing them was carried to a most unreasonable excess. Hall speaks of the "nombre of chaynes of golde and bauderickes both massy and grate" worn at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, and of the "marveilous treasor of golde" thus displayed. References to the extraordinary dimensions of these chains show that they must have been extremely inconvenient to wear. Henry VIII's Book of Payments records the payment in 1511 of £199 to the goldsmith Roy for a chain of gold weighing no less than 98 ounces. This is actually surpassed in Elizabeth's time, when Her Majesty received as a New Year's gift in 1588 "one cheine of golde, weing one hundred threescore and one ounce." Queen Mary had a heavy chain of gold made by her jeweller, Robert Raynes, out of the angels received as New Year's gifts;[155] and the curious custom of converting bullion into chains is further exemplified in the case of Sir Thomas Gresham, the bulk of whose wealth on his death in 1579 was found to consist of gold chains.

Pictures without number exhibit these ponderous neck-ornaments, while contemporary wills teem with references to them. That they were very much worn in Shakespeare's time would be apparent had we no other authority than his frequent allusion to them, as for instance in the Comedy of Errors, where there is a great ado about a chain. Indeed, no gentleman was considered properly equipped unless he had his chain of gold upon his shoulders.

With regard to their form, it seems that chains which appear as though made of plaited wire, and were known in mediæval times, remained still in use. But the majority of chains are composed of rounded links of various designs. They are usually of great length, so as to encircle the neck and shoulders several times.

{238} Extraordinarily common though such chains must have been, but few examples have survived, and the reason for this must be that, composed of pure metal, they went direct to the melting-pot as soon as they became unfashionable. Yet owing to peculiar circumstances some still exist. In the Germanic Museum at Nuremberg are preserved several examples dating from the first quarter of the seventeenth century. These formerly belonged to the Holtzendorff family, and were buried during the Thirty Years' War, at Pinnow in North Germany, where they were unearthed a few years ago.[156] Two gold chains dating from about the middle of the same century are preserved in the Ashmolean Museum. They were presented to Elias Ashmole: the one 29 inches long, formed of thirty-two open-work quatrefoil links, by Christian V, King of Denmark, and the other, of circular links, by the Elector of Brandenburg in 1680, on the publication of the History of the Order of the Garter. The custom of presenting chains of gold was as common then, it is to be observed, as in the most ancient times. John Williams, jeweller of James I, was paid sums amounting to upwards of £13,000 for chains of gold given by the King to divers ambassadors.

These heavy linked or twisted chains were worn principally by men, but not exclusively, as is clear from numerous early portraits—those, for instance, by the German painters Bernard Strigel and Lucas Cranach, whose ladies (as in the portrait by Cranach in the National Gallery) almost invariably have massive gold chains. Though generally composed of metal rings, men's chains, especially those worn by men of high rank, were occasionally composed of cylinders or plaques linked together and enriched with enamel and precious stones. Such jewelled collars were, however, chiefly reserved for women. Henry VIII's numerous {239} portraits generally show him adorned with magnificent collars set with pearls and precious stones; and it is recorded that on the occasion of his attending St. Paul's at the proclamation of peace in 1515 he wore a collar thickly studded with the finest carbuncles, as large as walnuts. Amongst the numerous collars mentioned in his inventory of 1526 is a "carkayne of hearts, with a hand at each end, holding a device of a goodly balasse garnished with five pearls and three diamonds, and a hanging pearl."[157]

The jewelled neck-chain worn by women, and composed of strings of precious stones, "ropes of pearls", or of jewelled and enamelled sections, is often represented in pictures as being gathered in a festoon at the breast and hanging in loops at each side as low as the waist. A chain of gold of this character—one amongst many similar presented by the Earl of Leicester to Queen Elizabeth—was "made like a pair of beads, containing eight long pieces, garnished with small diamonds, and four score and one smaller pieces, fully garnished with like diamonds."

Besides the chains or collars worn round the neck and upon the shoulders, there were the actual necklets worn round the throat, and often only distinguishable from the collar proper by their length (Pl. XXXI, 1). These necklaces, or carcanets, which almost invariably had as a central ornament an elaborate pendent jewel, are figured in such profusion in sixteenth-century portraits, particularly by the painters of the German school, that it is needless to mention particular examples. In Henry VIII's time they were worn in great abundance. The King loaded his wives with sumptuous jewels, and encircled their throats—on which the axe was eventually to fall—with jewelled and enamelled necklaces. The "carkyonetts" of Queen Elizabeth, of which she received an immense number, were equally magnificent. A New Year's {240} gift in 1587 was a "carkyonett of golde, like halfe moones, garnished with sparcks of rubyes and diamonds pendant, and one rowe of seede perles."[158]

The forms of the necklaces and jewelled neck-chains differ so much that the reader must be referred to the various collections of this country and the Continent. Occasionally necklaces of chain formation or of plaited wire are set with stones, but of more frequent occurrence are those where every single link shows a special development of a bijou kind. In the Renaissance necklace every link is for the most part treated as a symmetrical composition, either cartouche-shaped or of pendent form. Hence it happens that in collections, as Herr Luthmer suggests,[159] single links of this kind may occasionally be found incorrectly classified under the title of "pendants." Those in existence display a variety of very remarkable formations, for seldom are the links exactly alike: generally a large and a small motive are arranged alternately—a larger and more richly decorated central link being inserted into the middle of the chain for the purpose of supporting or introducing the rich pendent jewel. To this type belongs one of the most noteworthy necklaces in existence, which now forms part of the Adolphe Rothschild Bequest in the Louvre. It is of gold set with pearls and precious stones, and is composed of twenty-two open-work links and a pendant, all enamelled in relief, the eleven larger links and the pendant containing each in separate compositions a story from the history of the Passion. The groups of figures are of wonderful execution, and in spite of their minute proportions are singularly expressive, being worked in a delicate and at the same time most resolute manner. When exhibited by the Countess of Mount Charles at the Jewellery Exhibition at South Kensington in 1872, the jewel was {241} thus referred to: "This superb specimen of Italian Cinquecento work has been attributed to Benvenuto Cellini, and is at least as good as anything extant known to be by his hand." This cautious observation need not disconcert one; for the jewel is too closely allied in style and workmanship to the jewellery of South Germany of the second half of the sixteenth century to permit of such attribution. Nevertheless it must certainly be reckoned among the most elaborate examples of Cinquecento jewellery that have come down to us.

The great display of necklaces and long neck-chains ceased about the middle of the seventeenth century. In common with other similar objects they entirely disappeared in England during the Protectorate; nor were they ever worn again in any greater profusion than they are at the present day.

image Design for a pendant by Jacques Androuet Ducerceau.

{242}

CHAPTER XXVII

RENAISSANCE NECK-PENDANTS

THE necklaces, collars, or neck-chains which have just been spoken of as noticeable features in Renaissance decoration served the purpose of suspending a species of ornament even more peculiarly characteristic of the period—the pendant. This was hung either to the necklet, or to the neck-chain that fell upon the breast. Among all classes of Renaissance jewellery, and indeed of the jewellery of all time, this neck-pendant certainly deserves the first place, not only on account of the predominating part it played among the other ornaments of the period, but also on account of the great number of examples we possess of it, and the variety of forms which it exhibits.

Throughout the Middle Ages almost every pendant worn at the neck (pent-à-col) bore a religious signification, but towards the close of the fifteenth or the beginning of the sixteenth century the pendant seems to have lost much of its religious character, and became mainly an object of decoration. That even in the sixteenth century it did not entirely serve a decorative purpose is shown by a number of portraits dating from the first half of the century, where the termination of the neck-chain is hidden beneath a square-cut bodice. What the object was which was thus concealed is uncertain. It was very possibly a reliquary, or perhaps a cross; for crosses form a very large proportion of Renaissance pendants existing at the present day.

{243}

Apart from crosses, the majority of Renaissance pendants represent a figured subject of some description, while compositions entirely of precious stones appear to be less common—at least in the second half of the sixteenth century, to which the greater number of these jewels belong. Holbein's designs for pendants, on the other hand, were composed, it may be remembered, mainly of precious stones. From this we may infer that jewels having as a central ornament a single precious stone, or a gem surrounded by stones, and a regular contour, generally antedate those with figured compositions within uneven or broken borders. This of course applies to jewels which exhibit distinctly a back and front, and not to those formed of a single figure in the round, which are often difficult to date, though extant examples belong mostly to the latter half of the century.

It is to be noticed that the majority of pendants are suspended by two, or sometimes three, richly jewelled and enamelled chains, connected above by a cartouche similarly enriched. While sixteenth-century pendants display on their front the art of the goldsmith-enameller in its full perfection, the reverse likewise exhibits artistic work in engraving as well as enamelling. It is likewise worthy of remark that Renaissance pendants are almost invariably enriched with pendent pearls.

Of the immense number of subjects represented on these jewels we have already spoken in the introduction to the jewellery of the period. For pendants formed of single figures executed in the round, the whole of ancient or mediæval imagery—with its figures of Pan or of wood-nymphs, centaurs, tritons, or mermen; nereids, mermaids or sirens; hippocamps, unicorns, dragons, and other creatures, real as well as fabulous, of the earth, air, or sea—was revived, or else transformed to suit the fancy of the Renaissance jeweller. The formation of many of these was frequently suggested {244}by a monster pearl, unsuitable for ordinary jewellery on account of its baroque or misshapen form, introduced in a wonderfully skilful manner into the body or breast of a figure, which was completed in enamelled goldwork. In such adaptations the German jewellers, who seem to have revelled in technical difficulties, displayed extraordinary ingenuity.

Among groups of several figures employed as subjects for representation, generally within a frame of ornamental design, scenes from ancient mythology predominate, the Judgment of Paris being a very favourite theme. But Christian allegories are not excluded: besides the frequent representation of Charity with her two children or her symbol the pelican, we find Faith, Hope, and Fortitude; St. George and the Dragon or St. Michael are also frequently met with; while amongst scriptural subjects of the Old and New Testaments or the Apocrypha, the Annunciation is perhaps the most popular.

PLATE XXXI

image german and french renaissance pendants

The majority of the pendants of this class show a rich and uneven outline broken by tendrils often enriched with small dots of enamel, by projecting wings of birds or amorini, by strapwork and other ornament. Occasionally a "Charity" or an "Annunciation" is placed in an architectural niche, but the architectural device is not infrequently limited to a horizontal beam formed of a row of table-cut stones and two obelisks of the same construction forming the ends to the right and left (Pl. XXXIII, 1). It is only in the smaller examples of pendants that we find the design lying flat on a plane. Generally the jewel is fashioned in relief by means of two, three, or even four superimposed planes formed of open-work plates arranged in such a manner that the lower parts are seen through openings in the upper. These are fastened together by rivets sometimes three-eighths of an inch long, and the upper field of the jewel, on which are groups of enamelled figures, is set {245}with stones in very large pyramidal collets, so that the whole composition is increased to a considerable height. Collections contain frequent examples of this class of pendant (Pl. XXXII). One of the most elaborate, of Augsburg work dating from the end of the sixteenth century, is in the Adolphe Rothschild Bequest in the Louvre. In the centre is an enamelled group representing the Annunciation, within an architectural framework set with diamonds, rubies, and pendent pearls. The jewel, which is suspended by triple chains from an enamelled cartouche, measures in its total length 5¼ inches. It was formerly in the Debruge-Duménil Collection. Similarly large open-work pendants, enriched with enamels, precious stones, and pendent pearls, are shown attached by a ribbon to the left breast in three portraits dated 1609, representing the Princesses Elizabeth, Hedwig, and Dorothea of Brunswick, Nos. 458, 460, and 461 in the Hampton Court Gallery.

Of pendants containing groups of small enamelled figures there seems to have been an enormous production in Southern Germany towards the close of the sixteenth century, particularly in the workshops of Munich and Augsburg. These pieces, which are very charming, are greatly sought after by collectors, and are among the most highly prized of all objects of virtu at the present day. Their workmanship is extraordinarily elaborate; though not a few of them, it must be confessed, are overloaded with detail, and somewhat unsatisfactory in composition.

With the revival of the glyptic art, cameos begin to play a prominent part in jewellery. A considerable number of cameos in the great gem collections, set in exquisite jewelled and enamelled mounts, are provided with loops for use as pendants.[160] Numerous gems, splendidly mounted as pendants, are to be found in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris (Pl. XXXI, 6); and in the British {246}Museum are a few fine examples from the Carlisle Collection. Of extant pendants having as a centre-piece a figured subject, either cut in cameo or of repoussé work enamelled, the majority show uneven contours, generally of broken strapwork, after the manner of the German ornamentists, though not a few of those of oval shape have frames with smooth outlines. Many, on the other hand, follow the cartouche design in form of shields with upturned edges. These figure chiefly in the designs of the French maîtres ornemanistes, Androuet Ducerceau and Woeiriot. The doubling of the frame characteristic of the French cartouches, and the broken contours of the German pendants, which allow of a variety of intertwinings and traversings, offer a favourite field for the display of the jeweller's art in the application of polychrome enamels.

PLATE XXXII

image enamelled gold pendants set with pearls and precious stones
german, about 1600
(the property of lady rothschild)

The "nef," or model of a ship, was of frequent use as an article of table plate. Pendent jewels likewise take the form of a small ship completely equipped,[161] suspended by chains, and hung with pearls. In this style of jewel, which is perhaps of Venetian origin, the crescent-shaped caravel or carvel, open and without a deck, but built up high at the prow and stern, with forecastle and cabin, and large ship's lantern, is often adhered to; but the design is not infrequently somewhat conventional. Many of the best-known collections contain examples of these "nef" or "navette" pendants. Their probable Adriatic origin is evinced by the several specimens exhibited, together with jewels from the Greek Islands, in the Franks Bequest in the British Museum. The Victoria and Albert Museum contains a choice example from the Spitzer Collection. It carries three masts, five sails, a lantern, and a high poop and stern. The rigging is of twisted gold wire, and the {247}hull covered with an imbricated pattern in translucent blue, red, and green, and opaque white enamels. A variety to this form is presented by a remarkable piece in the museum at Vienna. It represents a barque manned by two rowers; while at the prow and stern are mandoline players who entertain two passengers seated beneath the framework awning such as was in use on the gondolas of the time. The whole is enriched with polychrome enamels. The figures are in full relief, and the boat, hung by three chains, is further set with diamonds and rubies. We may estimate the extraordinary value attached to such objects at the present day by the fact that a jewel very similar to this last was sold at Messrs. Christie's Rooms in the autumn of 1903 for no less a sum than £6,500. The hull of this jewel is identical with that at Vienna, but figures of Antony and Cleopatra, finely executed, though somewhat out of proportion to the rest, here take the place of the couple beneath the awning; while instead of being hung by chains (as is suitable to this form of pendant) the jewel is backed by a composition of scroll- and strap-work, characteristic of German and Flemish work of the second half of the sixteenth century. A comparison with contemporary designs clearly associates these two objects with the well-known set of engravings for pendent jewels published by Hans Collaert at Antwerp in 1581 (Pl. XXXIII). Another version of this jewel is in the Bavarian National Museum, Munich. The figures are the same as on the Vienna jewel, but the vessel is in the form of a fish.

Just as the great gem cabinets preserve pendants whose jewel-work is confined to richly decorated frames, so there exist a considerable number of mounted medals, which must be looked for in collections of coins and medals, among which they are classed on account of the presumed preponderating importance of their centre-pieces. These pendent gold medals {248}(Gnadenmedaillen), with beautiful jewelled and enamelled mounts, occasionally hung with pearls and suspended by chains from ornate cartouches, were much in favour in Germany in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and were given by noble personages, whose portraits were figured on them, as presents and as marks of special distinction. Many examples, as is to be expected, are to be found in the coin cabinets of Munich and Berlin; while others are preserved in the more important public and private collections of jewellery.

These medallions, as was natural, were frequently made in duplicate, and the Waddesdon Bequest, and the Salting and Pierpont Morgan collections each contain a jewel, dated 1612, of Maximilian, Archduke of Austria (1558-1620), in an open-worked border of enamelled scrolls interrupted by four shields of arms, and suspended by three chains, united above by an oval escutcheon with the arms of Austria on one side and the cross of the Teutonic order on the other. The Victoria and Albert Museum has an enamel-mounted medal of Albert VI, Duke of Bavaria (1584-1666), a facsimile of which, hung with a single instead of trilobed pearl, is in the Munich cabinet.

Many of the motives connected with pendants denote associations which appear inexplicable, until it is understood that no small number of them, like the pendent medals, were gifts from princes, the so-called "faveurs" granted in recognition of services rendered. Among the princely gifts we must class that large group of pendants which consist only of one letter or a monogram in an ornamental frame or in open-work, sometimes composed entirely of precious stones. Of these the Victoria and Albert Museum possesses a fine early example in form of a square tablet of gold set with pearls, bearing on one side two enamelled shields of arms, and on the other the initials DA, in a frame formed of bracket-shaped terminal figures and human {249}masks. It is of German work of about the year 1530 (Pl. XXXI, 3). Distinct from these princely monograms are those employed for religious purposes, particularly the monograms of Christ and the Virgin.

PLATE XXXIII

image pendent jewels by hans collaert, etc.

Probably the finest example of the numerous pendants in the form of a single figure, particularly of those whose formation is suggested by a large baroque pearl, is the triton or merman jewel in the possession of Lord Clanricarde. The figure, whose body is made of a single pearl, with head and arms of white enamel and tail of brilliant yellow, green, and blue, wields a jaw-bone in the right hand, and an enamelled satyr's mask as a shield in the left. This magnificent Italian jewel was brought from India by Lord Canning. Pendants of somewhat similar character, often representing a mermaid holding a comb in one hand and a mirror in the other, are to be found in the Vienna, Windsor, Waddesdon, and other collections. They are almost invariably of German workmanship. Amongst many other jewels of similar formation the most important is a pendant in the form of a dragon in the Galerie d'Apollon of the Louvre. The modelling and general form of this jewel is very fine, and its enamel-work, chiefly of white and light blue, in the design of circles and chevrons, especially on the wings, is most admirable. It is Spanish work of the highest quality, and was bequeathed by Baron Davillier, who procured it in Spain (Frontispiece).

Of other animal forms are those of a lion, a dromedary, a dog (termed a talbot) (Pl. XXXIV, 2), and a fish; birds include, besides a dove (the symbol of the Holy Ghost), eagles, cocks, parrots, and pelicans. Fine examples of the two latter are at South Kensington from the Treasury at Saragossa: one is mounted with a large hyacinth in front[162] (Pl. XXXIV, 1), the other is represented plucking at a blood-red carbuncle set in her breast.

{250}

Among miscellaneous pendants worn in Renaissance times attached to the neck-chain mention must be made of whistles. These (like the "bo'sons pipe" of to-day) were formed, as has been shown (p. 190), of a pipe or tube, sometimes in the form of a pistol, through which the air is carried into a hole in a ball, thus producing the sound. Whistles of this kind were designed by Dürer and Brosamer, and they are shown suspended at the neck in the engraved portraits of William, Duke of Juliers, and of John of Leyden by Aldegrever, in the portrait of a man by Lucis Cranach the elder (1472-1553) in the Louvre, and in portraits of the Margrave Philibert of Baden (1549) by Hans Schöpfer the elder at Munich and Nuremberg. Silver whistles of somewhat similar construction, ornamented with a mermaid or siren, or with a lion or sea-horse, were frequently worn also as charms in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They are usually hung with little bells, possibly for the purpose of averting the evil eye—the "mal'occhio" or "jettatura" it is termed in Italy. Examples are preserved in the Cluny, Nuremberg, and South Kensington museums.

In Aldegrever's design for a whistle, of the year 1539, the lower part is formed of a case containing small articles for toilet purposes. Such articles, in the shape of toothpicks and ear-picks, often richly gemmed and enamelled, were very commonly worn hanging from a fine gold chain or thread about the neck. Elaborate toothpicks are occasionally seen in pictures, as in the Venetian portrait of a young man in the National Gallery of Ireland. Their owners are sometimes shown affectionately toying with them. Judging by the frequency with which they are met with in inventories, they must have been extremely popular. A few quotations may be given. Thus: Henry VIII (1530). "Two gold toothpicks with H and E—A gold {251}toothpick and an ear-pick, with a chain; and two other toothpicks, one with a ruby and a pearl, and the other with a ruby and a diamond—Two gold whistles."[163] Queen Elizabeth amongst her New Year's gifts received the following:—1573-4: "Six smale tothe-picks of golde. Geven by Mrs. Snowe, one of them lost by her Majestie." 1574-5: "An eare-picke of golde enamuled, garnished with sparcks of rubyes, blue saphirs, and seede perle." 1576-7: "A tothe and eare-picke of golde, being a dolphin enamuled, with a perle pendaunte, 16 small rubyes being but sparcks, and 5 sparcks of dyamonds."[164] Most of the important collections of Cinquecento jewellery contain specimens of these magnificent toothpicks. The form is often that of a mermaid or merman. The body is constructed of a baroque pearl; the tail terminates in a point. Designs for a couple of jewels of this kind were published by Erasmus Hornick of Nuremberg in 1562. In the Cluny Museum (Wasset Bequest) is a silver-gilt pendant, an ear- and toothpick combined, one end being an ear-, the other a toothpick. It is ornamented in the centre with clasped hands and hung with a pearl, and is German work of the sixteenth century.

In addition to the museums already mentioned (namely, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Vienna Museum, the Rothschild and Davillier Bequests in the Louvre, and the coin or gem collections of London, Paris, Berlin, and Munich), numbers of pendants, in immense variety of form, are to be found in all the well-known collections. The Waddesdon Bequest in the British Museum contains, perhaps, the largest series; while the Wallace Collection, the Prussian Crown Treasury at Berlin, the Bavarian Crown Treasury at Munich, and the Green Vaults at Dresden, all possess a great number of examples.


Several English pendants of the Renaissance claim {252}attention for their rare beauty and historical importance. Of the pendants of the time of Henry VIII we obtain a tolerably accurate idea from contemporary portraits, and from Holbein's inimitable series of drawings. The earliest existing example, which, so far as can be ascertained, dates from the Holbein period, is known as the Penruddock Jewel. It is believed to have been presented in 1544 by Queen Catherine Parr to Sir George Penruddock of Compton Chamberlayne, and Anne his wife. It is triangular in shape, and set with a large cabochon sapphire surrounded by rubies and diamonds in open-work enamel setting. This remarkable jewel is shown on a portrait of Sir George Penruddock by Lucas de Heere in possession of its owner, Mr. Charles Penruddock, at Compton Chamberlayne, Wiltshire.

image The Penruddock Jewel.

The majority of English sixteenth-century pendants extant date from the Elizabethan period, and are almost all more or less associated with the Virgin Queen. The ingenuity displayed in devising curious forms for these ornaments can best be judged from the lists of the Queen's own jewels. A few of these may be mentioned: "A juell of golde, being a catt, and myce playing with her.—One greene frog, the back of emeraldes, smale and greate, and a pendaunte emeralde, and a smale cheyne of golde to hang by.—A juell of golde, being an anker." Another "being a dolfyn," another "two snakes wounde together," others take the form of a horse-shoe, a swan, and a rainbow.

The "nef" jewel, of which we have spoken, was also a favourite one. In the Queen's inventory are a number {253}of entries of this class of pendant, and among them: "A jeuel of golde, being a shippe, sett with a table dyamonde, of fyve sparcks of dyamondes, and a smale perle pendaunte.—A juell, being a ship of mother-of-perle, garneshed with small rubys, and 3 small diamonds." One of the chief treasures among the Hunsdon heirlooms at Berkeley Castle is a pendant of this form, a present to Elizabeth from Sir Francis Drake, and given by her to Lord Hunsdon. It is supposed to represent the famous Golden Hind, the ship in which Drake sailed round the world. The hull, which is of ebony, is set with a table diamond; the masts and rigging of gold are enriched with blue, white, green, and black opaque enamels, and set with seed pearls. In the ship is a seated figure of Victory blowing a horn, and behind is a cherub crowning her with a wreath. The small boat suspended below is enamelled blue (Pl. XXXV, 2).

A jewel also associated with Sir Francis Drake, and perhaps the most important of all Elizabethan pendants, is preserved, with other relics of the great navigator, at Nutwell Court, Devon. It is set in front with a fine Renaissance cameo in Oriental sardonyx, representing two heads—a negro in the upper and dark layer, and a classical head in the light layer of the stone. Behind is a miniature by Hilliard of Elizabeth, dated 1575. The border, of most admirable work, is richly enamelled in red, yellow, blue, and green, interspersed with diamonds and rubies. Beneath is a cluster pendant of pearls, to which is attached a very fine drop pearl (Pl. XXXIV, 4). This magnificent jewel was presented to Sir Francis Drake by Queen Elizabeth in 1579, and in his portrait by Zucchero (now belonging, together with the jewel, to his descendant Sir F. Fuller-Eliott-Drake) he is represented wearing it suspended from the neck by a red and gold cord, over a silk scarf, also a present from the Queen.

The cluster of pearls, as on the Drake Jewel, was a favourite form of ornament for Renaissance pendants. {254}In the National Portrait Gallery is a portrait of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk (father of Lady Jane Grey), wearing a George of the Order of the Garter, below which is hung a pearl cluster and a large pear-shaped pearl attached. A similar pendant, like a bunch of grapes, serves to enrich another fine jewel of this time—the Barbor Jewel in the Victoria and Albert Museum. In the centre of this jewel is a beautifully cut cameo portrait in sardonyx of Queen Elizabeth in a frame of translucent blue and green on opaque white enamel, set alternately with rubies and table diamonds. According to a family tradition, Mr. William Barbor, who had been condemned to be burned at the stake in Smithfield for his religion, had this jewel made to commemorate his deliverance through the death of Queen Mary and the accession of Elizabeth (Pl. XXXV, 4).

The Museum at South Kensington exhibits another pendant of the same period, the property of Miss Wild. It is of gold, of open scrollwork, enamelled, and set with rubies and diamonds, and with pearl drops. It has in the centre a turquoise cameo of Queen Elizabeth. The sheen of the pearls with the rich red of the foiled rubies and the dark lustre of the diamonds in their old irregular setting, combine with the lightness and delicacy of the goldwork touched with coloured enamel to render this little pendant one of the most attractive objects of its kind in existence. In addition to its artistic beauty, the jewel is of interest from the tradition that it was given as a christening present by Queen Elizabeth to its first owner, by whose descendants it has been preserved to the present day.

PLATE XXXIV

image renaissance pendants, etc.,
of gold, enamelled and jewelled

spanish (1-2) and english (3-6)

Amongst other examples in that important group of jewels which were apparently intended either as special rewards to naval officers or simply as complimentary presents from the Queen to Court favourites, the finest are the Phœnix Jewel in the British Museum, a jewel belonging to Mr. Pierpont Morgan, and one in the {255}Poldi-Pezzoli Museum, Milan. The Phœnix Jewel, bequeathed to the British Museum by Sir Hans Sloane in 1753, has as a central ornament a gold bust of Queen Elizabeth cut from a gold medal known as the Phœnix Badge of the year 1574, bearing on the reverse the device of a phœnix amid flames. It is enclosed in an enamelled wreath set on both sides with red, white, and variegated roses symbolising the union of the Houses of York and Lancaster. The roses, of translucent red and opaque white enamel, and the leaves, of translucent green on engraved ground, are attached to stalks covered with lighter green opaque enamel (Pl. XXXV, 1). The workmanship of this jewel is extremely fine, and on a level in point of excellence with the Eliott-Drake pendant and with Mr. Pierpont Morgan's Armada Jewel.

Of the last-named—a splendid production of an English goldsmith of the Elizabethan period—it is impossible to speak with adequate praise. Like the Phœnix Jewel, it is modelled upon a contemporary medal, though in an entirely different style. Upon the front is a profile bust of Queen Elizabeth from the Personal or Garter badge of 1582, upon an enamelled ground of aventurine blue, inscribed with the royal title. The opposite side forms a locket containing a miniature of Elizabeth by Hilliard dated 1580, and covered with a lid enamelled with translucent colours—on the outside with the Ark and the motto saevas tranquilla per undas (as on the "Naval Award Medal" of 1588), and on the inside with the Tudor rose and a laudatory Latin motto—the same as appears round the reverse of the Phœnix Badge of 1574, which refers to Elizabeth with a regret "that virtue endued with so much beauty should not uninjured enjoy perpetual life." The jewel is bordered by strapwork à jour of opaque blue and white enamel set with table diamonds and rubies. This exquisite object, which is in the highest possible state of preservation, and {256}retains its fine enamel entirely uninjured, was sold at Messrs. Christie's in July, 1902, for the large sum of £5,250 (Pl. XXXIV, 5, 6).

The third jewel of this class, also undoubtedly English, is in the Poldi-Pezzoli Museum at Milan. It has in the centre a mother-of-pearl medallion with the Ark carved in low relief, of the same design as on the Morgan Jewel and the 1588 medal, surrounded by the like inscription—saevas tranqvila per vndas—in gold on white enamel, and encircled by a band of table-cut rubies. The edge is enamelled with translucent red and green, and opaque white enamel (Pl. XXXV, 3). The Ark floating tranquilly amid violent waves is emblematic of the fortunes of England, or possibly of Elizabeth, who, according to the legend per tot discrimina rerum which appears on the back of the jewel, had sailed triumphantly through many dangers. No account of this important object has previously been published, nor has its nationality up to the present been noticed, or at any rate recorded.

The front opens on a hinge, and shows that the pendant was intended as a miniature case—though the miniature is missing. In the times of Elizabeth and her successor miniature cases were among the most important of pendent jewels. Quite a number have survived, chiefly on account of the miniatures they enclose. Contemporary portraits show the manner in which they were worn. In the catalogue of Charles I's collections a miniature of Queen Elizabeth is thus described: "Queen Elizabeth ... very richly adorned with gold and pearls, and a picture-box hanging at her right breast." Such "picture boxes," with backs elaborately enamelled by the champlevé method, leaving only thin outlines of gold of scroll design, and hinged fronts of open-work, enamelled and set with precious stones, are among the presents which appear to have been frequently conferred as marks of recognition on {257}favourite courtiers or subjects. It is impossible to enumerate all the various examples in public and private collections. The Victoria and Albert Museum possesses one of the best, and a beautiful specimen is preserved at Windsor Castle[165] (Pl. XXVIII, 5). A description of a third jewel of the kind, the "Lyte Jewel," will be given subsequently (p. 303).

PLATE XXXV

image elizabethan jewellery

Besides the enamelled and jewelled pendants there are various medals (some of which have been alluded to) suspended by a ring or chain and worn as badges by those who were personally attached to the Queen; and to the time of James I belong numerous references to medals of gold with the "King's Majestie's phisnomy" on them, mostly the work of his goldsmith, John Williams, and presented to various foreigners in official positions.

Space does not permit of detailed description of the wonderful Lennox or Darnley Jewel at Windsor Castle, purchased by Queen Victoria at the sale of Horace Walpole's collection at Strawberry Hill in 1842 (Pl. XXVIII, 4). The jewel has been fully described by Mr. Tytler and Mr. Albert Way.[166]

It has been impossible here to convey an adequate idea of all the various specimens of sixteenth-century pendants that exist at the present day. Attention has been drawn to a few of the most striking examples which stand out above the rest, either by reason of the beauty of their design or the superlative excellence of their workmanship, or by reason of their unique historical interest. While indicating the great public collections where these things are preserved, it must be left to amateurs to discover and appreciate for themselves, as they are bound to do, what, owing to exigencies of space, we are precluded from referring to in detail.


{258}

CHAPTER XXVIII

RENAISSANCE RINGS, BRACELETS, AND BROOCHES

THE splendour-loving sixteenth century far surpassed the Middle Ages in the use of the finger ring. No other ornament of the Renaissance attained such richness and profusion. In sixteenth and seventeenth century portraits rings are represented in such quantities that the hands appear overburdened with them; while the number entered in the old inventories is astounding. Yet it is well to remember that the word bague, which we translate a ring, was a general term for all pendent jewels—though not infrequently a distinction in the lists is drawn between bague à mettre aux oreilles (an earring), bague à pendre (a pendant), and bague à mettre au doigt. The extraordinary abundance of finger rings in use at the time may best be judged by a list in the inventory of Henry VIII of the year 1530, which contains no less than 234.

Of the large number of Renaissance rings that have survived to the present day most are of a purely ornamental character; and though many others are of interest on account of their emblematic or historical associations, those which display artistic work require the chief consideration. Out of all the rings that simply served the purpose of decoration, there are very few whose nationality can be easily determined. If it is difficult in the case of pendants and similar ornaments to come to a {259}decision with regard to the question of provenance, it is even more so where rings are concerned.

Pictures of the period, as has been said, represent persons with their hands heavily loaded with rings, which are worn upon all the fingers, the thumb included. Every finger-joint up to the very nail is covered with them, and they are worn, as by the ancient Romans, even upon the knuckles. The great projection of the rings' bezels would have rendered the use of gloves impossible, were it not, as we know from pictures, for the custom of placing the rings outside the gloves, and also for the somewhat ugly fashion of slitting the fingers of the gloves, in order that they might be worn with greater comfort, and allow the rings themselves to be displayed. In a portrait of a lady by Lucas Cranach in the National Gallery, rings are worn both over and beneath the gloves, every finger and the thumbs having two or three. The rings under the gloves appear on the top of the second knuckle of every finger, and are visible through the crevés made in the gloves at these points. In other pictures by this artist, such as that entitled "Judith" at Vienna, and in the works of his contemporaries in Germany, the same slashed gloves are to be seen. Men's gloves, too, like their doublets, were slashed, as is clear from the engraved portrait of Duke William of Juliers, by Aldegrever. Bishop Hall (Satires, III, iv) refers thus to the current fashion:—

Nor can good Myson wear on his left hond,
A signet ring of Bristol diamond,[167]
But he must cut his glove to show his pride,
That his trim jewel might be better spy'd.

The tendency of placing the stone in a very high bezel was a tradition from the Middle Ages, where a preference had always been shown for the stone being so set. The ornamental rings of the Renaissance {260}followed a uniform outline as far as their bezels and settings were concerned. They contained, as a rule, one stone only, backed by a foil or paillon, and set in a box-like collet, square and pyramidal, and closed behind. The gold was rubbed over the setting edge of the stone, and the four side surfaces then decorated in a variety of ways by the application of enamel, and sometimes overlaid with an additional ornamentation in imitation of claws. The stone itself, usually table-cut, was frequently a ruby.

image Triple rings set with pointed diamonds. Device of Cosimo de' Medici. (Figured in Botticelli's "Pallas" in the Pitti Gallery.)

One peculiar variety of ring, known from the early part of the fifteenth century, is deserving of note. Its design was founded upon the natural octahedrite shape of the diamond, and was distinguished by a very high bezel, which received one half of the octahedron and allowed the other to project upwards. Rings set thus with pointed diamonds were in high favour until the middle of the seventeenth century, and were employed for writing upon glass—a practice which appears to have been much in vogue. The most characteristic examples of the diamante in punta were those adopted by the Medici as their device. Three diamond rings interlaced were employed by Cosimo (d. 1464); Piero took one diamond ring held in the claw of a falcon; Lorenzo continued the device of the ring, in which he placed three feathers. The best-known representations of these three devices are figured in Paolo Giovio's Dialogo dell' imprese.

In addition to the case for the stone, the sides or "shoulders" of the ring which held it were the subject of special artistic development. They took the form of small figures, winged creature, masks, and other ornaments {261}in relief and richly enamelled; while for smooth surfaces champlevé enamel was employed in a variety of designs. So extraordinarily elaborate is the work on some of these rings that it would almost seem as if they were produced rather as examples of the skill of the craftsman than as objects for actual use.

Several old portraits exhibit rings strung upon men's necklaces, or hung from a thin cord round the neck. A portrait by Mabuse, in the Berlin Gallery, shows a ring worn thus, and in two portraits by Lucas Cranach—one at Weimar, representing Johann Friedrich of Saxony attired as a bridegroom, and the other at Dresden, of the Elector Johann the Constant of Saxony (1526)—rings are hung similarly round the neck. Rings were also worn in the hat. A particularly striking example of this fashion is seen in the portrait of Bernhard III, Margrave of Baden, 1515, by Hans Baldung Grien, in the Pinakothek, Munich. Around his cap is fixed a thick wire-shaped band of gold, with a strip of cloth wound spirally round it. The latter serves to fix at regular intervals four gold rings, three of them set with cabochon stones and the fourth with a pointed diamond. A similar kind of decoration is alluded to in Gabriel Harvey's Letter Book, 1574 (Camden Society, 1884, p. 145), where a servant is mentioned carrying to a maiden an enamelled posy ring which his master had worn sewn upon his hat.

The rings worn thus were in many cases betrothal or engagement rings; but those that served this purpose generally assumed special forms, and were among the most ingenious productions of the time. They were composed of twin or double hoops, and known as gimmel rings. The outer side of the two hoops was convex and elaborately ornamented, while the inner side was flat and often bore some inscription. The two hoops were wrought so exactly alike, that, together with the stones, they appeared to be one ring, {262}yet could be separated, and the one hung from the other. Their bezels were occasionally formed of clasped hands. Ordinary one-hoop rings also bore the same design and were known as "fede" rings. Another kind of betrothal or engagement ring was the "posy" or "poesie" ring, generally of simple form, with a verse, a name, or a motto engraved inside it. The posy ring, suitably inscribed, was also used as a wedding-ring. The simple posy ring belongs, however, chiefly to the seventeenth century. The elaborate betrothal ring seems to have been employed at this time as a wedding-ring as well. It was reserved for modern times to give the wedding-ring its smooth, convenient, but artistically unimportant form. Widely distributed among the North German peasantry are certain peculiar wedding-rings, which, as a rule, contain a couple of the heart-shaped milk-teeth of the young roe-buck, with a small lock from which hang two keys—a symbol which perhaps not inaptly indicates the union of two pure hearts. Dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but wholly different from the Renaissance form of ring, and very large and elaborate, are the Jewish wedding-rings, which were used only at the ceremony and then preserved by the family. They are composed of a broad band adorned with filigree (probably in keeping with some ancient Oriental tradition) arranged in bosses and rosettes and enriched with light blue, light green, and other enamel. In place of a bezel there is often the model of a building with high gabled roofs and enamelled tile, pierced by windows, and having movable weathercocks on the apex; an inscription in Hebrew characters on the shank contains the motto "Good star."

PLATE XXXVI

image renaissance and later rings

It was the custom to arrange finger rings upon a rod when not in use or when exposed for exhibition in the jeweller's shop, and in paintings it is no uncommon thing to see a line of rings of various patterns run on {263}what appears to be a roll of parchment; as in the annexed illustration—a cut from a Herbal published at Frankfort in 1536. Rings arranged thus may be seen in Ghirlandaio's portrait of Costanza de' Medici, belonging to Mr. Salting; in the "Legend of St. Godeberta" by Petrus Christus; in Gerard David's portrait of a goldsmith at Vienna; in the "Banker and his Wife" by Quentin Matsys in the Louvre, and in similar pictures where a jeweller or a banker is represented.

image Rings on a roll of parchment. From Kreuterbuch (Frankfort, 1536).

In Henry VIII's inventory of 1527 we find: "Upon a finger-stall, seven rings, one a ruby, another an emerald, and a turquoise, another a table diamond, another a triangular diamond, another a rocky diamond"; also in 1530: "A roll with thirty-nine Paris rings, with small stones." In the Duke of Newcastle's comedy The Country Captain (1649) mention is made of an extravagant person "who makes his fingers like jewellers' cards to set rings upon." In the Pinakothek, Munich, is a most interesting picture by Paris Bordone representing a jeweller with a quantity of his treasures lying on a table before him. Every item is painted with extreme care. Twelve massive finger rings, arranged in three rows of four, are displayed in an oblong ring-box, just in the same manner as one might expect to find them in a jeweller's shop of the present day. A somewhat similar picture by Lorenzo Lotto, in the Kaufmann Collection in Berlin, represents a jeweller holding in his left hand a box full of rings and in his right a single specimen.

By far the most attractive of the fine engravings of jewellery by Pierre Woeiriot of Lorraine is his beautiful set of rings published in 1561 under the title of Livre d'aneaux d'orfévrerie. M. Foulc, of Paris, is generally credited with the possession of the only {264}complete set of these engravings. A perfect specimen of the work is, however, preserved in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, to which it was bequeathed by the well-known antiquary Francis Douce in 1834. It comprises forty plates, each containing one or more rings to the number of ninety-six, and furnishes striking examples of the taste and inventive genius then bestowed on these minute objects. Nevertheless, engravings can convey but small idea of the colour effect, and the wonderful charm that the actual rings possess. In order to fully appreciate them, one must visit the three great English collections of them now accessible to the public: the South Kensington Collection, containing the greater part of that formed by Edmund Waterton; the Drury Fortnum Collection in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; and above all, the collection in the British Museum, which includes the splendid series bequeathed by Sir A. W. Franks, in which were absorbed the Braybrooke, Londesborough, and some minor cabinets, together with the best from the Soden Smith Collection, as well as the choicest from the Pichon and from many foreign sales.

 

BRACELETS

The bracelet during this period plays a scarcely more prominent part than it did in the Middle Ages, and probably owing to the same reason; for in Renaissance times the fashion of leaving the arms bare was not in favour, and the long sleeves that fell over the hand were retained. A few examples presented by pictures lead to the supposition that bracelets consisted of beads of amber or jet separated by balls of gold, or of rows of cameos. Catarina Cornaro in her portrait by Titian in the Uffizi wears a bracelet upon her wrist over the sleeve, while the portrait of a lady by Cranach in the National Gallery shows that the sleeves were {265}occasionally slashed at the wrists to exhibit the bracelets beneath them, just as were the fingers of gloves for the purpose of displaying rings.

Inventories supply a certain amount of information concerning bracelets. Henry VIII in 1530 possessed seventeen, including one of "Paris work, with jacynths; and one with eight diamonds, eight rubies, fourteen pearls, and a diamond rose." Elizabeth received a large number of bracelets amongst her New Year's gifts. In the inventory of Mary Stuart's jewels are "Une paire de brasseletz garniz de cornaline lappines et agate et entredeux de doubles—Une aultre paire de brasseletz damatiste—Ung bracelet fait a facon de serpent." Others are formed, as were necklaces, of beads of filigree enclosing perfumes: "Deux braceletz dor percez a jour pleins de parfum—Une aultre paire dor a jour empliz de parfum."

References to bracelets by writers of the period show that they were not infrequently worn as love tokens. Thus in Beaumont and Fletcher's Cupid's Revenge:—

Given ear-rings we will wear
Bracelets of our lovers' hair,
Which they on our arms shall twist
With our names carv'd on our wrist.

Also in Barnfield's Affectionate Shepherd (1594):—

I would put amber bracelets on thy wrist,
Crownlets of pearls about thy naked arms.

Contemporary designs prove that bracelets followed the same elaborate forms as other articles of jewellery, as may be seen from the engraved designs of Ducerceau, and the Livre de Bijouterie of René Boyvin of Angers (1530-1598).

One of the most interesting bracelets—as far as actual specimens are concerned—is preserved at Berkeley Castle amongst the heirlooms bequeathed by George Carey, Lord Hunsdon, who died in 1603. It is {266}of crystal and gold, 3¾ inches in diameter. The crystal, a complete circlet overlaid with open-work gold, is encrusted all round with rubies, and has at intervals four clusters of rubies around a sapphire (Pl. XXXV, 5). It is somewhat difficult to arrive at a decision as to the origin of this remarkable object. It seems to bear traces of Oriental influence in the setting of the stones, though the goldwork is of different quality from what one would expect to find in Indian work. If, like the "nef" jewel at Berkeley, this armlet is to be associated with Sir Francis Drake, it may well have been obtained by him as part of some Spanish spoil, in like manner to the "crystal bracelet set in gold" procured by Sir Matthew Morgan at the capture of Cadiz in 1596—Cadiz being then the staple town for all the trades of the Levant and of the Indies.[168]

Bracelets formed of cameos are met with sometimes on portraits. The Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris preserves a pair of bracelets (Nos. 624 and 625) formed each of seven oval shell cameos representing figures of animals, enclosed in gold mounting enriched with blue enamel, and hinged together by a double chain ornamented with rosettes enamelled green. On the under side of the larger cameos which form the clasps are two interlacing C's within a wreath of palm and olive, enamelled green, and a barred S in blue enamel at each angle. These bracelets, of which the cameos as well as the mountings are of fine sixteenth-century work, have been traditionally associated with Diana of Poitiers. But the interlaced C's, according to M. Babelon, are in all probability the initials of some lady of the family of Harlay, from whom the bracelets were acquired by Louis XIV (Pl. XXXVII, 3, 4).

PLATE XXXVII

image renaissance bracelets

Bracelets, like necklaces, were not infrequently composed entirely of gold, with interwoven links, like mail-chains. A chain bracelet of this style, formed of circular {267}fluted links, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Its clasp is enriched with a floral pattern in translucent champlevé enamel (Pl. XXXVII, 1). Three similar bracelets forming part of the Holtzendorff treasure from Pinnow (Ucker-Mark, N. Germany) are in the Germanic Museum, Nuremberg. They are composed of circular links, and have flat clasps like the bracelet just mentioned, ornamented with coats-of-arms in enamel. One of them bears the date 1612.

 

BROOCHES

One of the most important of ornaments throughout the Middle Ages was the brooch; but towards the end of the fifteenth century the mode of wearing garments changed, and the côtehardi having replaced the mantle, brooches disappeared little by little, till in Renaissance times they were rarely employed, except as ornaments for the hat. It is true that sixteenth-century inventories contain an immense number of owches and brooches—Henry VIII had no less than 324—but nearly all these, the larger ones especially, were worn as enseignes upon the hat; while the smaller were employed not as dress fasteners, but simply as ornaments sewn or pinned at regular intervals upon the front of the dress or the borders of the sleeves. A single elaborate jewelled brooch is sometimes seen in pictures attached to the upper part of the sleeve. We see it thus on the figure of Arithmetic in Pinturicchio's famous fresco in the Appartamento Borgia of the Vatican, and later in English pictures, notably the well-known painting in Sherborne Castle, Dorset, representing Queen Elizabeth's procession in litter to Blackfriars in 1600, where the ladies of her retinue have jewels fastened to the sleeves of their right arms.

The garments of this period were not fastened by means of brooches, but were closed with buttons or {268}points, or with hooks and eyes. Sleeves were often held on by buttons to which the sleeve-loops or points were tied, while other portions of the clothing, especially if of leather and cumbersome to button, were secured with loops or hooks and eyes. The slashings of the dress were sometimes closed by buttons or pompoms formed of stones surrounded by pearls. Similar button-like ornaments, jewelled and richly enamelled, of which examples exist, were worn in rows all over the dress, but their delicate form and often irregular shape exclude the supposition that they were used as actual buttons. Of ornaments of this kind Mary Queen of Scots possessed a large number: thus—"Quatre vingtz bouttons dor esmaillez de blanc et noir garniz de chacune une perle." Others mentioned in her inventory are "à rose garniz de chacun trois perles"; others again are "percez à jour esmaillez de noir."

These individual jewelled ornaments, which it was the practice to sew on the dress at regular intervals by way of trimming, may be treated as distinct from ornamentation which formed part of the actual costume, such as masses of pearls and precious stones, with which dresses were literally loaded. Individual jewels often took the form of the monogram, crest, or device of the owner, in pure gold richly decorated. A curious instance of this custom has already been alluded to in connection with what occurred during the masque given by Henry VIII at Westminster. The fashion for wearing ornaments in the form of jewelled initials was still in vogue on the quilted dresses of the time of James I. Anne of Denmark is represented in her portraits wearing them both on her ruff and in her hair, and a "jewel, in form of an A and two CC, sett with diamonds" and others of similar kind are to be found in the lists of jewels supplied to the Queen by George Heriot.

Except occasionally for buttons, the chief means employed for fastening the garments was by aigulets {269}or aglets. These ornamental loops or eyelets, formed of cords terminating with goldsmith's work, were movable and were changed from one dress to another according to pleasure. They are seen in pictures hanging not only from slashes and various parts of the garments, but also from the cap; and Henry VIII is described as wearing a cap ornamented with gold enamelled tags. His daughter, the Princess Mary, was supplied in 1542 by her jeweller, Mabell, with two dozen pairs of aglets. Mary Stuart had a number, such as: "Soixante cinq esguillettes dor facon de cheuilles sans esmail," "Soixante une esguillettes dor et de perle esmaillez de rouge," and "Quatre vingtz dixhuict esguillette dor esmaillez de blanc et noir." Queen Elizabeth possessed several sets, of different colours and patterns—some gold enamelled white, some blue, others purple, and some enriched with pearls and precious stones. These jewelled aglets are now extremely rare, and are not represented in any public collection.

image Design of a bracelet by Jacques Androuet Ducerceau.

{270}

CHAPTER XXIX

RENAISSANCE GIRDLES AND GIRDLE PENDANTS
(MIRRORS, BOOKS, WATCHES, SCENT-CASES, AND POMANDERS)

THE girdle is an important ornament in the dress of the Renaissance. From the beginning of the sixteenth century it differs considerably from the mediæval pattern already discussed. In place of the stiff hoop about the hips, it was worn loosely across the body from above the right hip down towards the left thigh, where the upper garment was passed over it in a light fold. At this point was the clasp, from which hung numerous small articles necessary to the active housewife. Another style of wearing it, which appears to have been adopted for more sumptuous dress, was one where it more firmly encircled the body, and from a clasp in front, hung down in a long end, terminating in a special ornamental appendage—a scent-case or pomander.

The common material was leather or stuff, such as was employed for men's girdles. The long and narrow thong of leather, termed courroye, was worn by all classes. Rows of such girdles are figured in the background of Jost Amman's well-known woodcut of the ceinturier in his workshop, of the year 1594.

The majority of Renaissance girdles, confined solely to female attire, were made entirely of silver or silver-gilt, {271}and even of silvered or gilded bronze. They took the form of flat chains composed of links, generally with solid pieces in the shape of oblong plaques, of cast or chased work, introduced at regular intervals. The solid parts, particularly those that formed the clasps, were occasionally enriched with enamels, precious stones, or engraved gems. The majority of collections contain specimens of such girdles; but simpler kinds, composed entirely of ring-shaped links, which, judging from numerous Flemish, Dutch, and German portraits, must have been in very general use in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, are much less frequently met with. A good example of such, a chain in silver-gilt, of German work of the second half of the sixteenth century, is preserved in the Musée du Cinquantenaire at Brussels. It is formed of rounded grooved links. At one end is a rosette-shaped girdle plate set with a white crystal, and having a hook behind to catch into any link of the chain. The other end terminates in a pear-shaped pomander 3½ inches long, and divided for the reception of different cosmetics into two parts, united by a screw from below.

A considerable number of girdles of leather or strips of material are found mounted after the mediæval style with buttons or studs, and instead of clasps, have buckles at one end, and at the other the pendants or chapes common in earlier times.

It is not unusual to meet with girdles of Flemish or German work which, though dating from the latter part of the seventeenth century, are ornamented with Gothic patterns. The buckle and pendant (mordant), deeply pierced with open-work tracery of flamboyant design, are generally united by only a short thong, and are so overcharged with ornament that it is doubtful if they could have been of any practical use. Such objects appear in reality to be but specimens of their work submitted by girdlers who were desirous of obtaining {272}admission to the Girdlers' Company. They serve to show how long-lived were Gothic traditions among the guilds. Examples in silver or bronze gilt are to be found in the Germanic Museum, Nuremberg, the Victoria and Albert Museum (No. 2304-'55), the Waddesdon Bequest (No. 226), dated 1680, the Wallace Collection (No. 783), dated 1709, and in many other public collections (Pl. XXXVIII, 3).

A number of articles, both useful and ornamental, were suspended from the girdle. For practical purposes the housewife carried at her side, besides a knife, such objects as small scissors in a case, a purse, and also her keys. Cases or étuis for knives were attached either by silken cords or by chains. When cords were employed the cover of the étui was furnished with loops on each side through which the cords slid. Open quiver-like sheaths for knives hung by chains were often worn, in order to display the rich decoration of the knife-heads.

PLATE XXXVIII

image renaissance girdles

The Italianate costume, such as is found in the type of "Vanity" in emblem books of the age, and which made its way everywhere, favoured the addition of many other accessories to the girdles, such as fans, gloves, looking-glasses, books, watches, scent-cases, and pomanders. Mirrors, besides being worn from the neck, formed, as did miniature-cases, a frequent pendant from the girdle. These were either in a frame of ivory or goldsmith's work, or inserted in the fan. Stubbes, the censor of the follies of his day, speaks of the looking-glasses which ladies carried with them "wheresoever they go." Etienne (Stephanus) Delaune has left eight engraved designs for hand mirrors of great beauty. Their handles terminate with small rings for attachment by a chain to the girdle. In the Louvre is an interesting pendent mirror-case, or rather back of a mirror, formed of an oval plaque of glass encrusted with designs in enamel on gold (émail en résille sur {273}verre),[169] bearing the inscription "Grace dedans, le lis-ha."

Small books, mainly devotional, were also worn at the girdle. It appears to have been a common practice for ladies to carry such books, and in Lyly's Euphues mention is made of "the English damoselles who have theyr bookes tyed to their gyrdles." Queen Elizabeth had several. Amongst the "juelles given to her Majestie at Newyere's-tyde," 1582, was "a litle boke of golde enamuled, garnished and furnished with smale diamondes and rubyes, with claspes, and all hanging at a chayne of golde." The inventory of the jewels of the Duchess of Somerset, widow of the Protector, in 1587, likewise contains "a booke of golde inamyled blacke." Two drawings for small pendent books intended to be executed in niello or black enamel appear amongst Holbein's designs for jewellery in the British Museum; and the Earl of Romney possesses a small manuscript Prayer Book in binding of enamelled gold of the same style.

The most magnificent book-cover in existence, provided with loops for hanging by a chain to the girdle, is one preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum. It is of enamelled, repoussé gold, and has been ascribed to Cellini. Of less beauty, though of great interest as an example of English work, is the gold binding of a pendent Prayer Book in the British Museum. The subjects on the sides, raised and enamelled, are the Brazen Serpent, and the Judgment of Solomon, with English inscriptions around. It is said to be the work of George Heriot of Edinburgh;[170] and there is a tradition that it was worn by Queen Elizabeth. Whatever associations this object may have had with Elizabeth, {274}there is better authority for such with regard to the small book of prayers, the property of Lord Fitzhardinge, and one of the Hunsdon heirlooms. This very interesting English jewel, measuring 2¼ by 2 inches, is of gold, inlaid with black enamel, with a rosette of white enamel at each corner. The centre of one cover is decorated with translucent red and green enamel, that of the other with a shell cameo. It contains the last prayer of King Edward VI in MS. written on vellum. The title runs: "The Prayer of Kynge Edward the VI which he made the vj of Julij, 1553, and the vij yere of his raigne, iij howres before his dethe, to him selfe, his eyes being closed, and thinkinge none had herd him, the xvj yere of his age." The book was worn by Queen Elizabeth at her girdle, and came into the Berkeley family through her cousin, Lord Hunsdon (Pl. XXXV, 7).

The Earl of Leicester, it is recorded, presented Queen Elizabeth on New Year's Day, 1581, with a long gold chain set with diamonds and "hanging thereat a rounde clocke fullie garnished with dyamonodes, and an appendante of diamondes hanging thearat." Though occasionally worn thus suspended from the neck-chain, watches appear to have been more frequently carried at the girdle—a position somewhat similar to that which they subsequently occupied upon the chatelaine.

The honour of the invention of portable timepieces is probably due to Peter Henlein, of Nuremberg, in the last quarter of the fifteenth century, but it was not till a century later that they came into anything like general use. The cases, which received the same beautiful enrichment in the way of enamel-work and precious stones as was bestowed on other personal ornaments of the time, were made à jour to emit the sound of the ticking and striking, and the lid was pierced with an aperture over each hour, through which the position of the hand might be seen.

The makers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries {275}endeavoured to vary as much as possible both the figure of the machine and the material in which it was placed. Not only square, oval, octagonal, and cruciform watches occur, but some in such fanciful shapes as death's-heads, books, shells, acorns, tulips, pears, etc; while rock crystal (to render the works visible) and other stones were often converted into cases. Oval watches, known as "Nuremberg eggs", are usually reckoned among the earliest, but this title was not given to watches till some time after their invention, and as a matter of fact, according to Dr. Rée (Nürnberg, p. 172), all egg-watches that have been preserved belong to the seventeenth century. In Hollar's set of plates of the Four Seasons, dated 1641, the lady representing Summer has on her left side depending from her girdle an object of this shape, apparently a watch.

The most important pendent ornament to the girdle, from the present point of view, is the pomander, the early history of which has already been alluded to. Throughout the sixteenth, and until about the middle of the century following, the pomander formed an almost invariable adjunct to the girdle, and was occasionally, in the case of men, hung to the long and heavy chains worn at that period round the neck.[171]

Most of the pendants still termed pomanders were, as has been already noted, in reality cases for scents or different cosmetics; but from their fruit-like shape, though often innocent of the original pomander ball, they have retained the title, but solely, it would seem, in our own language[172] (Pl. XXXI, 7).


{276}

LATER AND MODERN JEWELLERY

 

CHAPTER XXX

SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY JEWELLERY (GENERAL)

THROUGH the whole jewellery of the late Renaissance there runs a gradual and profound change of taste. Slowly and by imperceptible stages the earlier style, with its minute enamelled figures in high relief, gives place to a desire for sparkling diamonds, and a pleasure in the glitter of faceted stones. In the sixteenth century, diamonds, rubies, and other stones played a comparatively insignificant part in jewellery, and were prized mainly for their decorative value, but during the course of the seventeenth century a more prominent rôle was gradually conceded to precious stones. Used singly at first, in table-cut form, to give a centre of interest or a note of colour, they came finally to be arranged in juxtaposition and long rows. A complete change was brought about in the whole character of jewellery by the prominence thus given to the precious stone—a position it has retained ever since.

From the commencement of the seventeenth century Germany began to lose the position which, during the greater part of the century previous, she had occupied as a jewel-producing centre; while the Thirty Years' War, by handicapping her industries, caused the jewellers to seek employment elsewhere. It was mainly from France that the new ideas in the form of ornaments emanated.

{277}

The French are fortunate in possessing separate words to distinguish different kinds of jewellery: bijouterie, a general term applied to all jewellery formed of gold, enamels, and precious stones; and joaillerie, used for jewellery composed of stones along with a minimum of metal-work. By the revolution of taste in the later days of the Renaissance the joaillier gradually superseded the bijoutier; while the two crafts of the silversmith and the jeweller replaced the ancient craft of the goldsmith.

Changes in the mode of wearing clothes, and in the materials employed for them, had an enormous influence on jewellery. In place of the velvet and brocade that prevailed during the Renaissance, damask came to be worn, together with an extravagant taste for lace and ribbons. The wearing of the silken stuffs that began to be issued from the factories of Lyons, and of the lace that formed their accompaniment, necessitated the use of ornaments more in keeping with these materials; with the result that the jewellery of the period assumed an open and lace-like character, suitable also for the display of precious stones.

At first coloured stones were used—the ruby, sapphire, and the emerald; but soon the diamond held sole possession of the field. In Renaissance ornaments this latter gem played only a secondary part, and was employed solely for the sake of contrast, but it now appeared as the chief object in view, and formed the ornament by itself, all other parts of the jewel, the setting, and possible addition of other stones, being wholly subordinate to it.

For the first general employment of the diamond in jewellery one must look back to the fifteenth century, to the invention of the art of cutting that stone, which is generally credited, in spite of Laborde's opinion to the contrary, to Louis de Berghem of Bruges in the year 1475. From that date until the beginning of the seventeenth {278}century every diamond, as is seen both by jewels and their designs, was one of two forms: either the "point," a four-sided pyramid produced by polishing the faces of the native octahedral crystal of diamond and making them exactly true and regular; or the "table," in which the point of the crystal is reduced to a square or oblong plane, the opposite extremity being also in plane form, but of smaller extent, with sloping faceted edges. This simple cutting did so little to augment the brilliance of the diamond that the jewellers of the sixteenth century had to depend on the tinctura or foiling of the stone, in which art Cellini in his treatise, with his characteristic appreciation of his own merits, tells us that he particularly excelled.

The change of taste in the seventeenth century may be attributed to the opening up of the diamond fields of Golconda on the southern borders of the State of Hyderabad, at the beginning of that century, and to the enterprise of the French travellers, Tavernier, Chardin, and others, who, during their frequent voyages to Persia and India, dealt largely in precious stones. These travellers succeeded in establishing new commercial relations, which led to the introduction into Europe of abundance of precious stones and particularly diamonds; while the narratives of their journeys, furnishing more exact knowledge of the quality and value of the products of the East, attracted towards precious stones a new interest.

Owing to the abundance of material imported from the East, the market for precious stones assumed an entirely different aspect; while the quantity and beauty of the material thus at their disposal spurred on the stone-cutters towards the improvement of their technique, until at the end of the century they arrived at the true cutting of the diamond. Besides the "point," which was but rarely used, the table-cut diamond alone was employed until the commencement of the seventeenth century. About that time there came into use {279}the "rose," a half-crystal, flat at the base and with a convex top covered with a number of small facets. Stones faceted in this manner were at first mostly small and unimportant and cut very irregularly into four or six facets.

Between the years 1641 and 1643, Cardinal Mazarin, a great lover of the diamond, is said to have encouraged the promotion of experiments by the Dutch lapidaries which led to the true "rose" cutting. Anyhow, a more systematic method of faceting in sixteen facets—the taille en seize—began to be employed about that time. This process, though it left much to be desired, was an immense improvement, and set forth the qualities of the stone in a way that had not been possible by the forms previously in use. "Roses," together with "tables," as the designs of Gilles Légaré and his contemporaries show, lasted until the invention of the "brilliant" at the commencement of the eighteenth century by the Venetian, Vincenzo Peruzzi, though rose cutting was popular for some time after, and is still used for certain stones.

The "rose" leaped into fashion at its first appearance, and the taste for diamonds and other precious stones seems to have dominated under Louis XIII and Louis XIV, when they became the principal objects in jewellery. Gold was worked into the form of garlands, flowers, and all sorts of designs for the purpose of mounting precious stones and setting off their beauty. The enormous increase of luxury in this direction was entirely in keeping with the whole conception of an absolute monarchy as developed by Louis XIV, who made it the duty of the grandees of France and Spain to wear their whole property, in the form of glittering gems, and to carry the value of lands and forests upon their own and their wives' apparel when they appeared before the eyes of their sovereign.

Though actual examples of the seventeenth-century {280}jewellery are rare, at any rate in public collections, we can become acquainted with its characteristics by the numerous prints bequeathed by the goldsmiths and draughtsmen of the time. These prints, like those of the sixteenth century, were not invariably the work of their designers, since it was no uncommon practice for the master-goldsmith to have his designs multiplied for use in his own workshop, and for general circulation, by placing them in the hands of an engraver. As a rule the nationalities of existing jewels may be in some measure determined by means of the designs from which they were executed. But it is often difficult to make clear distinctions in this manner, owing to the continual artistic interchange which brought the fashions of one place to another, and caused the methods and ideas of the craftsmen to become common property. The bi-lingual inscriptions which one finds on the frontispieces of many of the pattern-books or sets of designs then published, prove that they were intended for international use.

The first attempts to base the composition of the ornament exclusively upon the effect of stones arranged in definite forms, without granting the setting of the plastic metal any independent part, are found in some of the prints of Daniel Mignot, of the year 1590. Mignot, probably of French extraction, was a goldsmith of Augsburg, where between the years 1590 and 1616 he produced a number of highly important designs for jewellery, which form a link between the old and the newer styles. While following the artists of the late sixteenth century in the representation of figure designs in cartouche-shaped ornaments formed of flat strapwork curves characteristic of the older school, he presents engravings of pendants, earrings, and aigrettes, in which the stones are set in juxtaposition.

PLATE XXXIX

image engraved designs for jewellery by daniel mignot

That the transition to the newer forms was slow, is shown in the works of the goldsmith-engraver of {281}Amsterdam, whose models for pendants, signed with the initials P. R. K., and dated 1609 and 1617, are formed of elaborate open scrollwork of tendril design, almost destitute of stones. Exhibiting features more in keeping with those of Mignot are the designs of Paul Birckenhultz of Frankfort-on-the-Main (1617). They are of fine quality, and take the form of aigrettes and earrings set with precious stones and elaborate oval pendants terminating with pearls and ornamented with scroll ornaments intended for execution in enamel (Pl. XL, 4). Birckenhultz is the last of the German school of designers to model his work on the productions of the sixteenth-century masters.

Henceforth one must look for designs chiefly to France, where an entirely new type of ornament for jewellery, such as is found in no other art production of the time, was brought into existence by endeavours to associate leaf patterns with a number of stones. Its characteristic is the use of a sort of pea-pod or husk ornament, termed Schotenornamentik in German, and known generally by the French name of genre cosse de pois (pea-pod style). In the designs of the time this formal ornament is largely employed for elaborate aigrettes; but owing to the jewels executed from such designs having been set with stones, the result has been that change of fashion has suffered scarcely a jewelled example to survive. As a consequence, the objects existing at the present day chiefly represent enamelled miniature-cases and pendants. The number and variety of engraved designs for this kind of ornament in the form of jewelled bouquets or palmettes, chiefly for aigrettes, dating from the first half of the seventeenth century is surprising, considering that it remained a comparatively short time in use. One of the chief advocates of this style is Pierre Marchant, who worked in Paris about 1623. His rare designs for aigrettes, and wreaths for the borders of pendants, are {282}most graceful, and show a form of leaf ornament which is extremely happily adapted for materials in which the precious stone had to play a prominent part (p. 306). Another Frenchman who employed it is Pierre Labarre (1630), goldsmith to Louis XIV, who, together with a well-known jeweller, Julien Defontaine, had apartments in the Louvre. Amongst other French designers were Jacques Caillard (1627), Baltasar Lemersier (1626-1630), Claude Rivard (1592-1650), François Lefebure (1635-1661), and Gédéon Légaré (1615-1676), to whom as "orfévre-esmailleur," together with Pierre Bain, Louis XIV in 1671, on the suggestion of Colbert, granted quarters in the Louvre. Designs of the same nature were executed in Strasburg by P. Symony (1621) and Hans Mosbach (1626), and in Holland by Jacques Honervogt (1625). The foregrounds or bases of nearly all these engravings are remarkable for the landscapes and for the quaint and vigorous genre figures in the style of the painter-engraver, Jacques Callot, that enliven them.

Of all the goldsmiths of the time the best known is Gilles Légaré of Chaumont-en-Bassigny, who was jeweller to Louis XIV, and worked in Paris about 1663. His series of designs, entitled Livre des Ouvrages d'Orfévrerie, is perhaps the most interesting of the kind produced during the seventeenth century. These fine compositions, when formed of precious stones, show knots and interlacings for clasps, pendants, and earrings, in which diamonds are fully displayed in rose-cut forms. As models for objects not composed entirely of stones, we find seals, rings, bracelets and chains decorated with ribbons and bows mingled with monograms, and emblems, such as death's-heads. Together with these appear tasteful arrangements for enamel-work in the form of natural flowers of great charm and delicacy. To these last reference will be made later. Contemporary with Légaré was the painter and engraver Balthazar Moncornet, who worked {283}at Rouen and Paris. His book of designs, of which he was probably the inventor as well as engraver, entitled Livre nouveau de toutes sortes d'ouvrages d'orfévries, was published about 1670[173]. The jewels, in the form of pendants, earrings, and brooches, are composed of stones set in various ways; the last plate is a miniature portrait of Louis XIV set as a brooch. All his designs are accompanied by garlands of natural flowers.

PLATE XL

image designs for jewellery by gilles légaré and paul birckenhultz

Complete as was the change which was brought about owing to the prominence given to the precious stone, it must not be supposed that the enameller's art was by any means neglected. Though it cannot be compared with that in the best productions of the Renaissance, the enamel-work applied to seventeenth-century jewellery is, nevertheless, worthy of close attention.

Enamel executed by the champlevé method was much employed. The technical process known as champlevé was performed in two ways. By one method the surface of the gold was simply incised with designs, and the grooves thus made filled with enamel. By another method only thin lines of the metal were reserved to form the design, and the remainder of the field cut out to receive the enamel. This latter system resembles in appearance the well-known cloisonné; but the metal strips that form the partitions between the enamel, instead of being inserted, are a solid part of the metal base. Commonly employed on jewellery from the middle of the sixteenth century, it remained in general favour, together with the simpler form of champlevé, till about the third decade of the seventeenth century, when it gave place to enamel-work of an entirely different kind.

For jewellery intended to be carried out by this champlevé method, or on rare occasions to be covered with translucent enamels, we have at our service again a number of dated designs. These engravings, known {284}as Schwarzornamente or niello ornaments, are in the nature of silhouettes. The patterns, reserved in white upon a black ground, are composed of curves of flat and broken strapwork. The designs are occasionally for complete jewels, but most of them take the form of very small motives intended as patterns for the shoulders of finger rings, or for the borders, frames, or other details of jewels. Some engraved plates are made up entirely of such motives; on other plates they appear as details, either within a complete design or upon the field outside it. Germany and the Netherlands furnish the earliest examples of these. Several dating from the latter part of the sixteenth century are by "monogrammists," who signed their engravings with their initials, and whose names are mostly unknown—such as the German master A. C. of the year 1598. Among recognised engravers in this style are the following:—Of the German school: Arnold Jörg (1586-1596), Corvinianus Saur (1590-1597), the rare Hans Hensel of Sagan (1599), Daniel Hailler (1604), Jonas Bentzen (1615), and Daniel Mignot (1590) and P. Symony (1621), both of whom placed these motives on the field of their plates. Of the Netherlandish school is the well-known Michel Le Blon, called Blondus, goldsmith at the Court of Queen Christina of Sweden, who was born at Frankfort-on-the-Main in 1587 and died at Amsterdam in 1656. His designs in silhouette, the earliest of which, in the British Museum, is dated 1605,[174] were in great demand, and appear not only on knife-handles, but on oval and octagonal box-shaped pendants—presumably watch-cases. Also of the same school are: the rare master, Hans van Ghemert (1585), Hans de Bull (1590), the monogrammist P. R. K. (1609), and Guillaume de la Quewellerie of Amsterdam (1611-1635). In addition there is Giovanni Battista Costantini of Rome, who published his Ornementi per lavorare Giorje in 1622 and 1625.

PLATE XLI

image patterns for jewellery and enamelled jewels from similar designs

{285}

The French goldsmith-engravers, who produced designs in the "silhouette" manner intended for jewels that were to be enamelled by the champlevé method, include Jehan Vovert (1602), an anonymous engraver A. D. (1608), Jacques Hurtu (1614-1619), Stephanus Carteron of Châtillon (1615), Pierre Nolin (1620), and Jean Toutin (1619) and his son Henri (1628).

The most important of these is the goldsmith and enameller Jean Toutin of Châteaudun, whose plates—six in number, dated 1618 and 1619—are filled with charming motives for watch-cases or lockets, to be carried out in enamel. They are ornamented with patterns reserved in white on black ground in the form of trailing leaves and tendrils, partly in the "pea-pod" style, and accompanied by lively genre figures in various attitudes. Perhaps the most attractive of these plates is that which represents a jeweller—probably Toutin himself—firing a jewel which he holds in the furnace by a pair of long tongs, while above is figured a model of the actual jewel—an octagonal box-like pendant (p. 289).

Toutin, who appears to have been an experimenter in enamels, is entitled to distinction as the discoverer of a new process of using them. The process consisted in covering a plate of gold or copper with an opaque monochromatic enamel, on which designs were painted with colours, opaque and fusible, and of greater variety than had previously been employed. This method of enamel painting, extensively used for jewellery, proved to be peculiarly suitable to the representation of natural flowers which came into high favour about the same time.

The employment of naturalistic flower designs, as displayed on the margins of manuscripts, was one of the features of late Gothic art. The same tendency with regard to flowers was manifested on the enamelled jewellery of the fifteenth century, the most striking {286}example of which is the wonderful necklace seen on the Flemish portrait of Maria Baroncelli in the Uffizi Gallery. Renaissance ornaments on the whole did not favour naturalistic floral patterns, though flowers enamelled in full relief are occasionally found, as on the border of the Phœnix Jewel in the British Museum.

The general return in the early part of the seventeenth century to flower designs for the decoration of jewellery is associated with a curious phase in the social history of the time that accompanied the deep interest then taken in flowers and horticulture. Among flowers, of which the Dutch have ever been enthusiastically fond, and never tired of growing and of painting, the most prominent position was occupied by the tulip. From about the year 1634 the cultivation of the tulip became a perfect craze in Holland, and "Tulipomania" like a violent epidemic seized upon all classes of the community. Gambling of an almost unparalleled nature was carried on in the bulbs, and the flower became fashionable everywhere. In the bouquets which the enamellers arranged with great taste, and painted with extraordinary skill, the tulip is always prominent.

This and many other flowers, and occasionally fruits, were painted in the same manner as a picture, on an enamel ground of uniform colour—generally white, and sometimes pale blue, yellow, or black. Small plaques enamelled and painted thus are popularly known by the name of "Louis Treize" enamels, though the majority of them were produced after Louis XIII's death in 1643.

About 1640 it became the custom occasionally to model the design in relief with a paste of white enamel, which was afterwards painted with vitreous colours according to nature. Towards the middle of the century the background of the flowers was pierced and cut away, so that every single flower, exquisitely modelled and coloured, stood out by itself. In addition to tulips of every variety, and hyacinths, sunflowers, and roses, {287}all kinds of lilies were in favour, especially the tiger-lily, the "crown imperial," and different species of fritillaries, whose beautifully spotted or chequered blossoms were rendered in their natural colours with striking fidelity. Flowers executed in this realistic style for jewellery were arranged chiefly in garlands and festoons, in the manner of the wreaths painted by Jan Brueghel round several of Rubens' pictures, the flower pieces of such Dutch and Flemish painters as Jan de Heem, Van den Hecke, Daniel Seghers, and Van Thielen, and the wood carvings of Grinling Gibbons (himself Dutch by birth), which display the same remarkable realism.

Among the goldsmiths and draughtsmen of the time who have left designs for jewels in painted enamel are the Germans Heinrich Raab and Johann Paulus Hauer, both goldsmiths of Nuremberg. Their engravings, with natural flower ornamentation very finely designed and executed, were published about 1650. They comprise crosses, étuis, scissor, watch, and scent cases, and pendants—star- and bow-shaped, and set each with a pendent pearl. Work in the same direction by the artists of the French school is of great importance. Gédéon Légaré, though he practised the pea-pod style, is the first to show a decided preference for natural flowers in his engravings, which date from about 1640. He is followed by three famous masters of flower ornament—Balthazar Moncornet, Gilles Légaré, and Jean Vauquer. Vauquer worked at Blois between 1670 and 1700, and like many other engravers of jewellers' designs, was a jeweller and enamel painter by profession. He was a pupil of Morlière of Orleans, who also worked at Blois. His fine plates of flowers and ornamental foliage, engraved after his own designs and entitled Livre de fleurs propres pour orfévres et graveurs, were published in 1680.[175] Vauquer was an enamel painter of pre-eminent ability, and one of the {288}greatest exponents of the day of the art of representing natural flowers.

Of the designs of Moncornet (c. 1670) and Gilles Légaré (c. 1663) for jewelled ornaments we have already spoken. Moncornet, a great lover of flowers, accompanied his jewels by charming garlands. With him and Vauquer and Légaré must be associated the renowned enamel painter Jean Petitot (1607-1691), who was first an enameller of jewellery. So highly skilled was he as a painter of flower designs and foliage on rings and other ornaments, that on going over to England in 1635 he entered at once into the service of Charles I, where he brought to perfection his famous enamelled portraits.

Several actual examples have survived of the enamel-work of Gilles Légaré, whose designs—the best-known of this time—reveal a charming feeling for natural flower ornaments. His chef d'œuvre is generally considered to be the garland of flowers painted in enamel in open-work relief that surrounds a miniature by Petitot of the Countess d'Olonne in the collection of Major Holford at Dorchester House. This splendid piece, on which the tints of the flowers are rendered with striking fidelity, was formerly in the collection of a great French connoisseur of the eighteenth century, P. J. Mariette. At his death it passed into the possession of Horace Walpole, who counted it as one of his special treasures. It joined the Dorchester House collection after the Strawberry Hill sale in 1842. If this magnificent enamel-work be by the hand of Légaré, and we may take Mariette's word for it that it is,[176] this clever craftsman must have worked for Petitot; for another very fine example of the same kind of work, a wreath of enamelled flowers finely modelled and painted, surrounds a miniature by Petitot in the possession of the Earl of Dartrey.

{289}

To sum up the characteristic styles of seventeenth-century ornament which we have endeavoured to describe, the first feature is the general preference for precious stones, and especially diamonds, and the use of the "pea-pod" ornament for displaying them. From this style, practised by Marchant and many others, we pass, secondly, to the "Schwarzornamente" or "silhouette" designs of Le Blon and Toutin employed for champlevé enamel. Thirdly comes the development of naturalistic flower designs, and the application of these to the painted "Louis Treize" enamel evolved by Toutin, and perfected by Petitot, Vauquer, and Légaré.

image Jean Toutin in his workshop, firing an enamelled jewel.

{290}

CHAPTER XXXI

SEVENTEENTH CENTURY JEWELLERY (continued)
ENGLAND, SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

THE jewels of the seventeenth century, as has been observed, are comparatively rare in public collections. Unlike those of the Cinquecento, which find a more appropriate place in the museum or collector's cabinet, they are admirably adapted for personal use at the present day; but until the change of taste of the last few years in favour of old work, these attractive objects, owing to their being set with precious stones of intrinsic value, suffered cruelly at the hands of modern jewellers in the destructive process of resetting. Partly for this reason it is less easy than it was with the jewellery of the century previous to notify extant examples of all species of ornaments. Their main features, already described, lie in a preference for precious stones, and for a style of ornament which, at first formal, evolves into naturalistic flower designs in painted enamel.

Widespread luxury accompanied the large importation of precious stones. Ladies made each new fête a pretext for greater extravagance and greater efforts to outshine their neighbours; and the ornament in which they seem above all to have delighted for the best display of their wealth of jewellery was the aigrette. This ornament, of which some mention has been made (p. 281), generally took the form of a bouquet of flowers {291}on movable stalks, composed of clusters of precious stones in enamelled gold, accompanied sometimes by a jewelled knot, and was fixed in the hair on all occasions of ceremony. A large number of these bouquets are mentioned in the inventory of the French crown jewels of 1618. In default of actual examples we must rely on the designs which the jewellers of the day published for them, and also on contemporary portraits, which further illustrate a passing mode for plaiting strings of pearls through the hair.

PLATE XLII

image seventeenth-century enamelled pendants

Of earrings, on the other hand, a considerable number of examples have survived. French and English portraits show at first only a large pear-shaped pearl in each ear. In the second half of the century more elaborate earrings came into use. Spain, where these ornaments have always been popular, produced at the time a number of portraits exhibiting earrings of open-work set with coloured stones. They are in the form of a rosette or bow-shaped ornament hung with movable pendants. The engravings of Rivard (1646), Lefebure (1647), and Gilles Légaré (1663) include designs for earrings; those of the last-named being such voluminous jewels, hung with triple briolettes, pendeloques, or pearls, that they might easily be mistaken for neck pendants. The majority of earrings of this period, now existing, are of Spanish, Portuguese, or Italian origin. The general type of earring then in use is well shown in Rembrandt's portrait of Hendrickje Stoffels (about 1652), in the Louvre, where it takes the form of an elaborate pendant terminating with a big pearl drop.

Necklaces of light open-work design are set with diamonds or coloured stones. These seldom have a special pendant; they were, in fact, fast disappearing to make room for rows of pearls. Jewelled pendants, often consisting of two or more mobile parts, were frequently attached to a velvet band that closely encircled the {292}throat. More important pendants of this period are those which take the forms of mounted engraved gems or enamelled portraits, or else of miniature cases or lockets beautifully enamelled.

The finest series of mounted gems is that in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris. Some of the mounts are executed in the "pea pod" style in open-work; others are ornamented with champlevé enamel, after the niello designs in the silhouette manner; others again are of natural flower designs in painted enamel. There is a noteworthy example at Paris of the pea-pod style—a cameo (No. 791) of Louis XIII as an infant. It is in an open-work frame of opaque enamel—black, dark green, and white—of about 1605, which bears a very close resemblance to one of the published designs of Pierre Marchant. In the Gem Room of the British Museum is a still finer example, and one of the most splendid jewels from the famous Marlborough Collection. It is of open-work, enamelled white and green: the husks or pods, set each with a small diamond, are in green, and the little pea ornaments issuing therefrom are in white enamel (Pl. XLIV, 17). The work dates from the first years of the seventeenth century. The gem it serves to enrich, a fine onyx cameo of Lucius Verus, is slightly earlier. The choicest example of painted enamel of flower design in open relief is certainly the mounting or frame of a magnificent pendant (No. 961) in the Bibliothèque Nationale, set with a cameo of Lucrezia de' Medici, wife of Alfonso II, Duke of Ferrara. This frame, quite unmatched for its taste and skill, is formed of a garland of flowers, open-worked, and enamelled in the utmost delicacy with white, pale yellow, and light green enamel, heightened with reddish touches (Pl. XLIII, 6). Among other jewels of the same style, of which there are quite a number, one may mention the setting of an antique Roman cameo (Pl. XLIV, 15), and the reverse of the onyx "George" of Charles II {293}(Pl. XXVIII, 1) both English work, at Windsor Castle[177]. Besides the two beautiful examples of his work already noticed (p. 288), it is usual to associate with Gilles Légaré the frame of birds and flowers, enamelled black and white, that surrounds Petitot's portrait of Louis XIV in the Jones Collection at South Kensington. The designs of Vauquer, also, seem to have been followed in many similar kinds of enamelled jewels.

PLATE XLIII

image seventeenth century enamelled miniature cases,
lockets, etc.

The pendent miniature-cases or lockets of the seventeenth century are of great interest. The best example of those enriched with champlevé enamel is the Lyte Jewel (p. 303). The "pea-pod" style is well shown on the back of a miniature-case containing a female portrait by Peter Oliver (1601-1647) in the Dyce Collection at South Kensington (Pl. XLIII, 2). It is enamelled en plein with translucent green on a ground of matted gold, with the pea-pod pattern in white, after an engraved design by the French ornamentist Pierre Firens (1605-1625). This same style of ornament is seen on a miniature-case émaillé en résille sur verre[178] belonging to Mr. Pierpont Morgan. Enamel-work after the silhouette engravings of the same period is represented by one of its principal exponents, Jean Toutin of Châteaudun (1618), on the front and back of a miniature-case (Plate XLIII, 1) in the possession of Mr. Pierpont Morgan, ornamented with designs en genre cosse de pois reserved in gold on a ground of black enamel. Small plaques of "Louis Treize" enamel painted in natural colours on a monochrome ground were frequently employed for miniature-cases. A considerable number of these, of both French and German (Augsburg) work, exist. English work is rarer: an example, upon the cover of a miniature of Oliver Cromwell, painted with roses and leaves in natural colours on a white ground, is preserved in the University Galleries, Oxford. Enamelled flower designs {294}modelled in relief, sometimes on open-work ground, in the manner of Vauquer and Légaré, are also found on lockets. An exquisite little example, inscribed "O.C. 1653," belongs to Mr. Max Rosenheim. It contains an enamelled miniature of Oliver Cromwell.

Like the aigrette, an important jewel worn at this time was a breast ornament, termed a Sévigné, after the celebrated lady of that name. This ornament took the form of a bow or rosette of open-work, of foliated design, generally of silver, set with small diamond splinters. As the century advanced the work set with small stones and diamond sparks in substantial mounts was replaced by open-work jewels, known as "lazos" jewels, set with large flat stones, and ornaments formed of several pieces—an upper part of tied bow or knot shape and hung with pendants—all set with rose-cut stones. Much of this work, intended for the display of diamonds and various coloured stones in imitation of flowers, hails from Spain. It is admirably shown in Spanish portraits—those, for example, by Velasquez, Coello, etc; in the large series of Habsburg portraits preserved in the castle of Schönbrunn, in Austria; and in portraits of the Medici family by the painter Sustermans (1597-1681) in the Uffizi and Pitti galleries. It is here worthy of note that still in the seventeenth century we find elaborate ornamentation applied to the back of jewels—a notable feature in almost all jewellery of the finest craftsmanship. A plain surface on this part of the jewel was generally avoided by a charming use of the graver, or by means of small panels of painted enamel.

Bracelets set with precious stones are generally of open-work of the same style as the necklaces. Of those executed in enamel there is a good French example at South Kensington (Plate XXXVII, 2). It is formed of six medallions, each containing a crowned cypher alternating with true-lover's knots. It may usefully be compared with Gilles Légaré's designs for bracelets {295}and chains on Plate 8 of his Livre des Ouvrages d'Orfévrerie.

PLATE XLIV

image rings, slides and pendants
seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries

The finger rings of the early seventeenth century, as far as one can judge from pictures, did not differ essentially from the late sixteenth-century types; in fact many of the ornamental rings usually ascribed to the sixteenth century really date from the first half of the seventeenth. The majority of small niello designs engraved at this period were patterns for the shoulders of rings, intended to be executed in enamel by the champlevé process (Pl. XLI). Henri, son of Jean Toutin, furnishes a couple of engravings for rings, of the year 1628, of which the whole outer surface of the hoop is covered with designs reserved in white on a black ground. De la Quewellerie of Amsterdam, 1635, has also left the designs for a finger ring in the same style. The love for "bouquets d'orfévrerie"—flower designs in coloured stones—finds expression, towards the end of the century, in the giardinetti ring, the bezel of which is formed like a nosegay, a basket of flowers, or a bunch of flowers springing from a vase. These floral designs are of charming execution, and their coloured stones produce an extremely pleasing effect. Many of these rings are Italian, but there are several English examples at South Kensington (Pl. XXXVI, 9, 10).

Painted enamels in flower patterns are found not only on the shoulders of rings, but covering the entire outer surface. Occasionally flowers enamelled à jour occur, the hoop of the ring being hollow. Lord Falkland possesses a good example of one of these rings encircled with coloured flowers (Pl. XLIV, 8). The hollow space is filled with hair. Within the hoop is the posy Difficulty sweetens enjoyment. Mottoes or posies of this kind were occasionally engraved on mediæval rings and on those of the sixteenth century, but the majority of the large number of rings on which such mottoes occur belong to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. {296}Unlike the example just mentioned, these rings, with the motto engraved inside them, usually have plain hoops, and were used as engagement, and sometimes as wedding rings. The mottoes generally rhyme, but are not remarkable for poetic skill, and they are found constantly repeated. Numbers of the verses employed for the purpose are given in Jones's Finger-Ring Lore, and in an article published by Sir John Evans in Longman's Magazine (1892). A few examples will suffice: As God decreed so we agreed; God above increase our love; This take for my sake; The love is true I owe you; In thee my choice I do rejoice. Posy rings, like mourning rings, to be referred to later, are almost exclusively English. As regards the ordinary ornamental ring of the period, it is to be observed that the diamond, which came so much to the front at this time, found a prominent place on it. Towards the close of the century, though enamel-work is still visible, the purpose of the ring, as at the present day, seems to have been nothing more than for displaying the diamond on the finger, so far as one may judge from some of Légaré's designs (Pl. XL, 2).

The girdle in the seventeenth century was still an important ornament for ladies. The great portrait painters of the Low Countries present ladies wearing massive linked chains terminating in elaborate pomanders. Not infrequently the lady is shown, as in a picture by Gerard Douffet at Munich, holding the pomander in her hand. A fine pomander is seen in a portrait of a Flemish lady by Cornelis de Vos in the Wallace Collection, and one of extraordinary beauty is worn by a Dutch lady in a splendid picture by Frans Hals in the Cassel Gallery. Amongst the various seventeenth-century girdles to be found in public collections, without doubt the most remarkable are two examples, one in the Victoria and Albert Museum and the other in the Wallace Collection. They represent {297}the species of enamel-work known as émail en résille sur verre, which was employed during the latter part of the sixteenth and the early seventeenth century for miniature and mirror cases—of which specimens in the Morgan Collection and the Louvre have already been noticed—and for the dials of watches. The girdle at South Kensington, of French work of the early seventeenth century, is formed of twenty-one oblong and slightly convex plates linked together by rosettes. These plates, of silver, are filled with glass paste, which is backed with coloured foils and inlaid with minute designs in translucent enamel on gold, representing hunting and other country scenes. The chain in the Wallace Collection, which might possibly have been worn as a neck-chain, is almost identical in subject and design, save that the oblong links number eighteen, while the rosettes uniting them are enamelled and set with garnets.

The jewel which best represents the various kinds of decoration in the way of engraving and enamel-work applied to seventeenth-century ornaments is the watch. From the early part of the century the round form, more or less flat, which has been preserved from that time to the present day, began to be generally adopted for watches. All the different species of work employed on miniature-cases are found on watch dial-plates and cases. The interesting cosse de pois ornament is represented in the British Museum on the dial-plate of a watch by D. Bouquet of London, of about 1630-1640. It is executed by the rare process just described—the pattern being inlaid on gold upon a ground of green glass or enamel. Another watch, by Vautier of Blois, has the centre of the dial enriched with translucent enamel in gold cloisons on opaque white. Among watches with richly decorated cases there is in the same collection another by Bouquet, beautifully enamelled with flowers in relief, of various colours and kinds, on a {298}black ground encrusted with small diamonds. Besides the names already mentioned, the best-known enamellers of watch-cases from about 1680 to 1700 were the brothers Huault, or Huaud, of Geneva, who worked also at Berlin.

No more examples need be given of the different species of enamel applied to seventeenth-century jewellery. Enough has been said to demonstrate the importance and attractiveness of the comparatively little-known enamel-work of this time.

During the greater part of the seventeenth century the watch was simply hung by a chain to the girdle, as we see it on the two portraits (about 1645) of the wife of John Tradescant the younger in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. The elaborate chatelaines which attached the watch to women's girdles, and the chains which hung from the fob-pocket of men, belong rather to the eighteenth century; but they were already in use, and from them were suspended that most attractive article of jewellery, the seal, which was then beginning to take the place of the signet ring. Evelyn, in his Mundus Muliebris, or Voyage to Marryland (1690), gives a rhyming catalogue of a lady's toilet, and alludes to the chatelaine:—

To which a bunch of onyxes,
And many a golden seal there dangles,
Mysterious cyphers, and new fangles.

The designs of Légaré contain several charming pendent seals having their shanks or handles finely worked with monograms and other patterns (Pl. XL). Seals, however, together with the chatelaine and the rest of its accompaniments, will be spoken of later.

There remain various pieces of jewellery, such as buckles, clasps, or brooches, which were sprinkled on different parts of the dress. Like the sévigné or breast ornament, they often take the form of a tied bow, and find a place on the arms and shoulders, and {299}in rows down the front of the bodice and the skirt. In the latter part of the century jewelled buckles replaced the rosette of ribbons on the shoe. Thus again Evelyn speaks of:—

Diamond buckles too,
For garters, and as rich for shoo
A manteau girdle, ruby buckle,
And brilliant diamond rings for knuckle.
. . . . . . . . . .
A saphire bodkin for the hair,
Or sparkling facet diamonds there:
Then turquois, ruby, emrauld rings
For fingers, and such petty things;
As diamond pendants for the ears,
Must needs be had, or two pearl pears,
Pearl neck-lace, large and oriental,
And diamond, and of amber pale.

 

ENGLAND, SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

In England in the time of James I, the love of personal ornament, among men as well as women, was even more widespread than before. King James, and also his Queen, who herself possessed a highly extravagant taste for jewellery, set a public example by their patronage of the jewellers; while the nobility outbid one another in lavish expenditure. John Chamberlain, an entertaining correspondent of the day, writes thus in 1608 to a friend unable to attend a masque: "Whatsoever the devise may be, and what success they may have in their dancing, yet you should be sure to have seen great riches in jewels, when one lady, and that under a baroness, is said to be furnished for better than a hundred thousand pounds; and the lady Arabella goes beyond her, and the Queen must not come behind."

Contemporary chroniclers have left no descriptions that show precisely how the King's own person reflected the fashions in jewellery of his day, yet we know that he possessed an almost childish admiration for {300}"bravery," as it then was termed, particularly such as was intended for the decoration of those about his person. A very curious instance of the King's interest in these matters is to be found in the elaborate instructions he issued concerning the despatch of a large consignment of jewels for the use of the Prince of Wales, and his favourite, Buckingham, on their memorable journey to Spain in 1623. In the spring of that year orders were given to several officers of State, and with them the jeweller Heriot, to repair to the Tower and make a selection of the finest jewels there—some fit for a woman, and others for the Prince to wear. Among them a "jewel called the Three Brothers, five or six faire jewels to be worn in men's hats, same to be of £6,000 or £7,000 value, and none under; the five pendent diamonds that were the Queen's, whether they remain upon a string or be made up upon a feather. If none of the Targett fashion for hats, the jewels to be broke up to make them."[179]

To his son and favourite the King then addresses a letter, in which he tells them that he had been choosing "the jewells I am to send you, whereof my Babie is to present some to his Mistresse, and some of the best hee is to wear himselfe, and the next best hee will lend to my bastard brat [Buckingham] to wear." On their removal from the Tower the jewels are carefully inventoried, and Heriot is set to work to refashion them. After a fortnight's work he promises that they will be finished in a few days. So, on the 18th of March, "the jewels," we learn, "have been delivered." "Mr. Herriot is gone to assist in packing them, and has sat up day and night to get them completed."[180]

The King then writes that he is sending for his "Babie's owin wearing ... the Three Brethren,[181] that you knowe full well, but newlie sette, and the Mirroure {301}of Frawnce, the fellowe of the Portugall Dyamont, quhiche I wolde wishe you to weare alone in your hatte with a litle blakke feather." To his "sweete Gosseppe" he sends "a fair table dyamonde." "I have hung," he says, "a faire peare pearle to it for wearing in thy hatte or quhair thow pleasis."[182]

As the result of extensive transactions both with the Crown and the nobility the jewellers of the day seem to have reaped a rich harvest; and they attained to positions of eminence by adding banking to their more ancient art of working in the precious metals. Of the royal jewellers, George Heriot of Edinburgh—rendered immortal by Sir Walter Scott as "Jingling Geordie"—the founder of Heriot's Hospital, comes first to mind. Heriot received in 1597 a life appointment as jeweller to Queen Anne of Denmark, and in 1601 James made him his own jeweller. He followed the King to London, and in 1603, together with William Herrick and John Spilman, was appointed jeweller to the King, Queen, and Prince, at a yearly salary of £50. Immense sums of money were paid him both as interest on loans and for the jewels supplied to their Majesties, of which long lists have been preserved. Sir John Spilman, a German by birth and one of the chief jewellers of Queen Elizabeth, executed great quantities of jewellery at the royal commands; but Sir William Herrick seems to have obtained an even larger share of the royal patronage. Queen Anne of Denmark, who spent an enormous amount on personal ornaments, received £36,000 worth from him alone. "Queen Anne," writes a contemporary shortly after her death, "hath left a world of brave jewels behind; and although one Piers, an outlandish man, hath run away with many, she hath left all to the Prince [Charles] and none to the Queen of Bohemia [her daughter Elizabeth]." In fact, so many of her {302}jewels were embezzled that scarcely a vestige remained, though Herrick produced the models of them and swore to their delivery.[183] The poet Robert Herrick, Sir William Herrick's nephew, was a jeweller-apprentice to his uncle for several years, and his early training seems to have left a strong impression on him, for his poems throughout betray a love and appreciation for jewels. Among other jewellers whose names occur in the State Papers, the following may be mentioned: Philip Jacobson, Arnold Lulls, John Acton, and John Williams—a maker of gold neck-chains and pendent medals.

As far as the actual productions of the Jacobean jewellers are concerned we meet with comparatively few examples; this want, however, is supplied, to a certain extent, by means of a beautiful set of contemporary drawings for jewellery preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum—the work of Arnold Lulls, a jeweller whose name occurs several times in the royal accounts. In conjunction with Sir William Herrick, Lulls supplied the King in 1605, as New Year's gifts for the Royal Family, with jewels to the amount of £3,000. For a certain jewel of diamonds, with pearls pendent, and two dozen buttons supplied by him and Jacobson, and bestowed by His Majesty on the Queen at the Princess Mary's christening the same year, Lulls was paid £1,550.[184]

Lulls' designs, drawn in water-colours in a parchment book, number altogether forty-one. The majority, set with large table-cut stones and hung with huge pear-shaped drops, are for pendent ornaments, for wearing either on the neck-chain, or as earrings, or else upon the hat. Among the drawings are two designs for a "rope of round pearls, great and orient"—forty-seven in number—given to the Queen, and several designs for the above-mentioned diamond and pearl ornament {303}given her in 1605; two drawings for Georges of the Order of the Garter given to Prince Henry; and designs for a large balas ruby with pearl pendant mentioned in an inventory of the Prince's jewels.[185] The remaining drawings include four of jewelled aigrettes set with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires (Plate XXX, 1). These remarkable contemporary illustrations of English jewellery reveal the change then beginning to take place in the character of personal ornaments. Yet, though precious stones are much in evidence, in almost every case their settings are coloured, while the design of each jewel is completed with charming scrollwork enriched with polychrome enamels.

The finest Jacobean jewel in existence is the famous miniature-case known as the Lyte Jewel, now in the Waddesdon Bequest in the British Museum. Miniature-cases of gold elaborately enamelled, with hinged fronts often set with jewels, were as much in vogue as in Elizabeth's time; and records show that many precious "picture cases" of the kind were made for James I as presents to personal friends or to ambassadors. The cover of the Lyte Jewel is of open-work, filled with the letter R, with diamonds on the outside and brilliant enamel within. The back is a white enamelled plate with a design in fine gold lines and ruby enamel, the edge being enamelled alternately ruby colour and sapphire-blue. Within is a portrait of James I ascribed to Isaac Oliver. The first owner of the jewel was Mr. Thomas Lyte. This gentleman drew up a long pedigree of King James I's ancestry and presented it to the King, who was so much pleased with it that he rewarded Mr. Lyte with "his picture in gold, set with diamonds, with gracious thanks." The jewel passed from the Lyte family some generations ago into the hands of the Duke of Hamilton. At the dispersal of the Hamilton Palace collection it was bought for the sum of £2,835 by {304}Baron Ferdinand Rothschild, who bequeathed it with his other art treasures to the British Museum. A contemporary portrait of Thomas Lyte, dated 1611, in the possession of Sir Henry Maxwell Lyte shows him wearing it suspended from a brown ribbon round his neck. The jewel is the same, save that the drop at the bottom, now a single pearl, was originally trilobed. This exquisite jewel was probably the work of one of the court jewellers mentioned above. The design on the back, which corresponds in style with engravings of Daniel Mignot and the other earlier designers in the "silhouette" manner, exemplifies the influence exercised by the ornamentists on all the jewellery of the period (Pl. XLI).

Throughout the reign of Charles I ornaments in the same style as those portrayed in Lulls' drawings appear to have remained in use. All jewellery was largely influenced by the pattern-books issued from the goldsmith-engravers' shops of Germany, France and Flanders. Several jewellers themselves came over, as did the well-known Michel Le Blon, in the early part of the reign. In 1635 the famous goldsmith-enamellers Petitot and Bordier likewise visited England, and doubtless made their influence felt on the enamelled jewellery of the time. The period, on the whole, though it terminated disastrously for all the sumptuary arts, seems to have been a prolific one in the production of jewellery. The chief business was shared by the court jewellers—James Heriot (half-brother of George Heriot), Philip Jacobson, Thomas Simpson, John Acton, and William Terrey. Though he showered commissions on these jewellers, the King had commenced early in his reign the dispersal of the immense hoards of jewellery brought together by his predecessors; and by selling and pawning raised large sums of money, to make good the deficiencies caused by the rupture with Parliament. Subsequently, during the Civil War, to relieve his personal necessities, numbers of jewels were {305}sold at home, and many more pawned and sent over to the dealers at Amsterdam, who broke them up for the intrinsic value of their gold and precious stones; while the remainder were put under the hammer by a commission appointed after the King's death to dispose of the works of art in the royal collection.

PLATE XLV

image page from the ledger of sir francis child, jeweller to william iii

The fact that all classes during the struggle parted with their valuables to assist their respective champions has rendered jewellery extremely rare. Women, and even little children, voluntarily sent their necklaces and brooches "for the King"; while Cromwell was assisted in the same manner.

Great luxury in jewellery appears to have been associated with the Court of Charles II. The King himself bestowed magnificent presents on his mistresses. Amongst his jewellers was "that prince of goldsmiths," Sir Robert Vyner, who made the crown jewels. Later on King Charles had as court jeweller the celebrated French traveller and gem merchant Sir John Chardin, who settled in London with an immense collection of precious stones acquired in the East. Another eminent jeweller of the time was the banker Alderman Edward Backwell, whose old books, still preserved, are full of interesting accounts for jewels supplied during the Commonwealth and the reign of Charles II. The religious troubles which had led Chardin to quit France induced a number of other French jewellers, after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, to establish themselves in England. These foreign jewellers, like the army of craftsmen in every field that at all times swarmed into England, soon accustomed themselves to their environment and became as English as the English themselves. English work has ever had its own distinctive mark, for whatever the native craftsmen themselves borrowed they speedily made their own.

The chief jeweller of the latter part of the century was Sir Francis Child—one of the founders of the great {306}banking house that still bears his name. He was appointed court jeweller to William III in 1689, and supplied the King with a great quantity of jewellery. Much of this was intended as presents to ambassadors; for jewellery, it appears, played a very prominent part in the diplomatic affairs of the day. Even the most trifling negotiation cost the Exchequer an enormous amount in presents of this kind, while foreign envoys were likewise obliged to disburse large sums for the same purpose. Lists of these gifts and of other jewels are preserved in the ledgers of this ancient firm of goldsmith-bankers, and have been published by Mr. F. G. Hilton Price in The Marygold by Temple Bar. A set of drawings for jewels of about the year 1674 from Sir Francis Child's ledger, with particulars concerning them in the great goldsmith's own handwriting, is here reproduced (Pl. XLV).

image Design for a pendent miniature-frame by Pierre Marchant.

{307}

CHAPTER XXXII

EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY JEWELLERY

THE jewellery that came into fashion towards the close of the seventeenth century and flourished during the greater part of the eighteenth follows the style known as "rococo." Rococo ornament with its assemblage of rich fantastic scrolls and crimped conventional shellwork wrought into irregular and indescribable forms, though overcharged and inorganic, yet possesses certain beauty and artistic quality. Like most objects in this style, rococo jewellery has a real decorative charm. But the title of baroque or rococo is really less adapted to jewellery than to other art productions of the time, for jewellery itself never indulged in the same extravagant use of this form of ornament.

Except for slight changes in design, eighteenth-century jewellery, as far as its general form is concerned, does not at first display any marked variation from that of the previous century. A charming but somewhat superficial sentimentality expressed by means of pastoral subjects results in ornaments on which tokens of friendship are represented in all manner of forms. The naturalistic tendency in ornament is still strong, but is less striking than it was before, since feather, ribbon, and other conventional designs make their appearance, mingled with flowers and leaves. These rococo jewels, on account of the setting and arrangement of the precious stones which entirely govern their composition, are in their way masterpieces {308}both technically and artistically. Unlike the earlier jewels, one cannot help regarding them rather more as accessories to costume than as independent works of art.

The general character of the jewellery of the period with which we are now dealing may best be judged by a notable series of original designs in colour for such objects executed by the Santini family of Florence, and now preserved in the Library of the Victoria and Albert Museum. This remarkable collection comprises upwards of 382 separate designs, which are mostly constructed in a manner best calculated to show off the brilliant character and size of the stones and pearls, on which their effect mainly depends. A large proportion of the drawings take the form of what at this period constituted a parure, or set of jewels, composed of three items of similar design—a bow-shaped breast ornament hung with a cross, and a pair of earrings en suite. In place of the breast ornament is sometimes a V-shaped corsage in imitation of hooks and eyes or braidwork, set with various precious stones. The whole work shows that in the eighteenth century the stone cutter and stone setter had practically supplanted the artist in precious metals. In the metal-work of the settings—in most cases a matter of minor consideration—gold is employed for coloured stones and silver for diamonds.

The general tendency is towards the rococo, but this type of ornament is here by no means strongly marked. In other directions, however, it is more apparent, and already in the seventeenth century we meet with traces of it in engraved designs for jewellery. The best work of this kind is that of Friedrich Jacob Morisson, a draughtsman and jeweller who worked at Vienna from about 1693 to 1697. He was one of the most popular jewellers of the day, and his plates, which are rich in motives for ornaments in precious {309}stones and fine metal-work, found a wide circulation. They comprise aigrettes, earrings, brooches, pendants, bracelets, rings, étuis, and seals. Other Germans who have left designs in the same style are F. H. Bemmel (1700) of Nuremberg, D. Baumann (1695), Johann Heel (1637-1709), and J. F. Leopold (1700)—all of Augsburg.

French designers led European taste in jewellery as in furniture, and published a number of important designs. The most remarkable are those of the master-goldsmith Jean Bourguet of Paris, whose models for earrings, pendants, and clasps, dated 1712 and 1723, are set with large faceted stones, and have their backs chased or enamelled with flower designs. His Livre de Taille d'Épargne with designs for enamel-work published as models for jewellers' apprentices, contains amongst other patterns a series of twelve rings set with large faceted stones; beside each ring is a design for the enamel decoration of its shoulder: "Petits morceaux" he calls them, "de taille d'épargne facile à coppier." Contemporary with Bourguet was Pierre Bourdon, of Coulommiers en Brie, who worked at Paris. His designs, dated 1703, are for seals, scent cases, and watch covers of rococo work, and pendent medallions and miniature frames set with precious stones. Among other Parisian designers are the master-goldsmiths Briceau (1709), and Mondon (c. 1730-1760) whose Livre de Pierreries, Pour la Parure des Dames contains patterns for earrings, brooches, and aigrettes set with brilliants, and for enamelled and jewelled watches. Of Italian designs for jewellery set with precious stones in the rococo style we may note those of G. B. Grondoni of Genoa, who worked at Brussels about 1715, Carlo Ciampoli (1710), and D. M. Albini, whose Disegni moderni di gioiglieri were published in 1744.

The publication in London of several series of {310}designs proves that England was not far behind the Continent in the production of high-class personal ornaments. Among the most important pattern-books for jewellery, are those of Simon Gribelin, who was born in Paris in 1662, and worked chiefly in London, where he died in 1733. His work includes A book of seuerall Ornaments inuented and ingraued by S. Gribelin, 1682, and A Book of Ornaments usefull to Jewellers, etc., 1697. These were republished in 1704. Gribelin's productions were followed by those of J. B. Herbst, who issued in 1708 A book of severall ornaments fit for Juweler, made by J. B. Herbst, and in 1710 A Book of Severall Juwelers work, ... Sold by Mr. Eymaker, Juweler in Earls Court drury lane London. The patterns are chiefly for seals, and for breast ornaments and clasps set with rose-cut stones in rococo settings. About the same time similar pattern-books were published by J. Smith and Thomas Bowles. In 1736 appeared A book of jeweller's work design'd by Thomas Flach in London, engraved by J. Fessey. It contains designs for buckles, seals, watch-keys, a chatelaine with a watch and another with an étui, pendants and bow-shaped breast ornaments hung with drop pearls. In 1762 J. Guien published in London a Livre de jouailleries—A book of Ornaments for Jewellers, containing various designs in precious stones in the manner of Morisson and Grondoni.

An isolated phenomenon in the midst of the universal love for precious stones that then dominated the productions of the jewellers, there stands out Johann Melchior Dinglinger, who carried the traditions of the sixteenth century far into the eighteenth. Born at Biberach, near Ulm, in 1665, Dinglinger worked first at Augsburg, and, having visited Italy, was summoned to Dresden in 1702 by Augustus II, Elector of Saxony, where he lived until his death in 1731. During these thirty years, aided by his brother Georg Friedrich {311}(d. 1720) and his son Johann Melchior (1702-1762), he was employed as court jeweller to the Elector, whom he assisted in planning and arranging the Grüne Gewölbe at Dresden, which marvellous assemblage of precious objects contains the best examples of his work. All the processes of the Cinquecento craftsmen, of whose technique he possessed a fine knowledge, were employed by Dinglinger with wonderful care and exactitude—though his productions naturally betray in design the period of their execution. He exercised considerable influence on his contemporaries, more especially with regard to the revival of the art of enamelling in the second half of the century, when jewellery made a notable advance in the time of Louis XVI.

A change in style was first experienced on the arrival in power of Madame de Pompadour, who led the way in that coquettish return to simple conditions of life which showed itself in the pastorals of the Louis Quinze epoch. It resulted in a preference for simple gold; this metal, coloured by alloys such as platinum and silver, and popular under the name of à quatre couleurs, being at most only set off by enamel painting. This later rococo period, as far as its technique is concerned, is one which has never been equalled either before or since.

An event of importance in the history of jewellery, as of art generally, was the discovery in 1755 of the city of Pompeii, succeeding that in 1713 of Herculaneum, buried for centuries beneath the ashes of Vesuvius. The journeys of artists to Italy and to Naples, and the interest aroused thereby in ancient art, a weariness with the mannerism of rococo ornament, and the whim of fashion, gradually transformed jewellery like other decorative arts, and resulted in the classicism of the style of Louis XVI. Antique forms as they then were known showed themselves in a very {312}charming manner in well-balanced jewels, where different coloured gold took the form of classical motives in the midst of ribbons, garlands, and the pastoral subjects dear to the previous epoch. Enamel returned into fashion, and accomplished its chief triumph with painting en plein in fine transparent tones over guilloché gold. In conjunction with the art of gem setting and cutting, and metal chasing, this species of enamel produced effects which were all the more surprising, seeing that it was often confined to the smallest of spaces.

Among the first craftsmen who created, or followed the fashion, was the jeweller Lempereur. Some of his designs were published by his pupil Pouget the younger in 1762 and 1764, in a treatise entitled Traité des pierres précieuses et de la manière de les employer en Parure, the plates of which, mostly coloured, and representing models of jewellery of all kinds set with precious stones, were engraved by Mlle. Raimbau. Another pupil of Lempereur, August Duflos, published in 1760 a similar work entitled Recueil de Dessins de Joaillerie. Other French designers of jewellery at this time were: Maria, a jeweller of Paris, who issued about 1765 an important series of plates, thirty-five in number, of pendants, brooches, clasps, chatelaines, aigrettes, seals, rings, and buckles; P. Moreau (1740-1780) and J. B. Fay (1780-1790), both of Paris; and L. Van den Cruycen (1770) of Brussels.

In 1770 was published in London by T. D. Saint A new book of designs for jewellers' work containing eleven plates of ornaments of various kinds in the style of Pouget and Duflos. One of the last English jewellers of the old school was George Michael Moser (1707-1783), one of the founders of the Academy—like Fuseli, a Swiss by birth, and a native of Schaffhausen. He was originally a gold chaser—"the first in the kingdom," so Sir Joshua Reynolds described him; but {313}when that mode of decorating jewellery was put aside in favour of enamels, he turned his attention to enamel compositions of emblematical figures, much in vogue for the costly watch-cases of the day, for chatelaines, necklaces, bracelets, and other personal ornaments. He succeeded so well in this class of work that the Queen patronised him, and he executed a considerable number of commissions for the King.

Another eminent jeweller, who was likewise a painter and enameller, was Augustus Toussaint. He worked principally with his father, a noted jeweller of Denmark Street, Soho, and exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1775 to 1778, sending in both miniatures and enamels. He died between 1790 and 1800. Several of the fine open-work jewelled frames which held the choice miniatures of the day, were made in the workshop of Toussaint the elder, and on his death his son Augustus is said not only to have retained for his own use all the examples of these frames which were in stock, but to have continued to supply a few fellow-artists, with whom he was on terms of intimacy, with the celebrated Toussaint frames.[186]

The excess of ornamentation and the desire for jewellery formed of precious stones had, since the seventeenth century, favoured the use of imitations. Rock crystal or quartz had long been employed to imitate diamonds. Forgeries and imitations which were intended to pass as precious stones will be spoken of in another place. But at this time even people of great wealth wore imitation jewels, such as certainly would not be worn by persons in a corresponding position nowadays. These made no profession of being real stones. They were recognised {314}as imitations. The credit of the production of the first satisfactory substitute for the diamond is due to a German—Stras or Strass by name—who about 1758 established himself at Paris on the Quai des Orfévres, where he met with great success as a vendor of paste imitations of diamonds, which still bear his name. Competitors were not slow in making their appearance, and one Chéron also gave his name for a considerable time to the false diamonds that issued from his workshop. So large and flourishing did the industry in imitations become that in 1767 a corporation of joailliers-faussetiers was established in Paris.

Imitation pearls were likewise very largely worn; even ladies of high position did not disdain to wear them—"Un collier de perles fausses" occurs in the inventory of the jewels of Madame de Chamillart made on her death in 1731. False pearls first appeared in Paris about the time of Henry IV, the production of one named Jaquin, whose descendants carried on a large business in them in Paris till the middle of the eighteenth century. "So well have pearls been imitated," writes Pouget the younger, in 1762, "that most of those of fine Orient have found their way back from Europe to Asia, and are so rare in France that nowadays one scarcely sees any good specimens."

Productions such as these were rendered necessary to satisfy the luxury which from the nobility had extended over the whole middle classes, and also on account of the strained condition of French finance. Étienne de Silhouette, Controller of Finance, endeavoured to cut down expenses, and issued in 1759 an invitation to the wealthy to bring in their jewels to be converted into cash for the benefit of the Treasury. Such attempts at economy, though rewarded only by ridicule, so that portraits henceforth executed in the commonest manner were à la Silhouette, yet met with this result, as Pouget observes, that since the {315}time of M. de Silhouette marcasite had become very much the fashion in France. In Switzerland, too, since it was forbidden to wear diamonds, ladies, he tells us, wore no other ornaments than marcasite, and spent a good deal of care and money in the setting of it. The mineral known as marcasite, a word which was spelled in many ways, is a crystallised form of iron pyrites cut in facets like rose diamonds, and highly polished. It was used for a number of ornaments. Steel, likewise cut in facets, was similarly employed.

Steel jewellery appears to have been invented in England, and from Birmingham, the centre of its manufacture, found its way all over Europe, reaching France by way of Holland. It was carried out largely by Boulton and Watt and other firms of Birmingham, Sheffield, and Wolverhampton. This steel jewellery, which was in high favour in the latter half of the eighteenth, continued to be worn until the second quarter of the nineteenth century, when it finally went out of fashion. Even after that, cut steel was still made at Birmingham, and the firm of Hipkins, one of the most prominent, continued for many years to supply the Court of Spain with buttons and buckles ornamented with it (Pl. LI, 1, 2). Steel was largely employed as mounts for the fictile cameos of Wedgwood, Tassie, Adams, and Turner, which were in considerable demand for rings, brooches and buttons. Mountings for these were also made in silver or Sheffield plate, principally the work of Thomas Law & Co., of Sheffield. In the latter part of the century England occupied a unique position with regard to the production of objects of this kind, which were eagerly sought for throughout the whole of the Continent.

Another characteristic of the changed condition of the times was the use in jewellery, together with strass, false pearls, and marcasite, of various substitutes for gold. The best-known of these substitutes was "pinchbeck," {316}so called after its inventor, Christopher Pinchbeck (d. 1732), a clock and watch maker, of Fleet Street. This pinchbeck gold was an alloy of copper and zinc. When fused together the metals assumed the colour of fine gold, and preserved for a time a bright and unoxidised surface, though in some cases objects thus fashioned received a washing of gold. Pinchbeck was much used for cheaper jewellery of all kinds. The larger articles made of this metal were chatelaines, snuff-boxes, and étuis, while watch-cases, miniature-frames, buckles, clasps, and so forth, are to be found for the most part ornamented in relief and carefully chased. These several articles to which pinchbeck was suited, went in those days by the name of "toys". The term "Toyman" was employed by Pinchbeck himself, but the title had, of course, no reference to what are now known as toys. In France and Germany a metal composition like gold, in imitation of pinchbeck, called Similor or "goldshine," was produced, first by Renty, of Lille, about 1729, and subsequently improved by Leblanc, of Paris. But the name of the English inventor of the metal was well known in France, where it was retained in such forms as "pinsebeck" or "pinsbeck."


The head-ornament—the aigrette—was still an important jewel in the eighteenth century. Generally a kind of delicately formed bouquet of precious stone in very light setting, it continued long in fashion, together with strings of pearls among the hair. For a while the aigrette was set aside for bows, small birds, etc., made of precious stones mounted upon vibrating spiral wires which were then attached to the hair-pin. These went under the name of "wasps" or "butterflies." In the days of Marie Antoinette they were supplemented by hair-pins and aigrettes set entirely with diamonds, which about 1770 had almost entirely superseded {317}coloured stones. Many designs for these head-ornaments were published by Pouget the younger and Duflos, the latter of whom complains in the preface to his work of the tendency shown in his day to do away with the admixture of coloured stones with diamonds; a proof that up to this date, in spite of the general preference for the diamond, taste had not yet learned to do without colour effect in jewellery.

PLATE XLVI

image eighteenth century jewellery,
french and english

Earrings, as has been noticed in reference to the Santini designs, were in particular favour at this period. The majority were composed of large faceted stones or of pearls, formed girandole fashion—that is to say, of a large circular stone above, with three briolettes or pear-shaped pendants below. A pair of earrings of this form, said to have belonged to Madame du Barry, are in possession of Lady Monckton. They are set each with four sapphire pastes of very fine quality; the three drop-pendants being separated from the upper stone by open spray-work of silver set with white pastes (Pl. XLVI, 5, 6). Similarly elaborate pendent earrings in seven sections composed of brilliants are seen in an original mezzotint portrait of Queen Charlotte by Thomas Frye (c. 1760). Drop-shaped pendants, mostly diamonds, were then very highly esteemed. Marie Antoinette had a pair of diamond earrings with stones of this form hanging from a perpendicular line of large brilliants. The designs of Ciampoli, Mondon, Guien, Pouget, Van den Cruycen, and Fay, all contain varieties of earrings, mostly girandole fashion.

For necklaces the engravings of these same designers supply many patterns. Like the carcan of the fifteenth century, they are often in the form of a band about an inch in width, composed of precious stones—rubies, emeralds, pearls, and diamonds—in open-work, or attached to velvet. They are generally constructed so as to reach only half-way round the neck, the back part being a band of black velvet. Portraits of the {318}time frequently exhibit ropes of pearls, and finally rows of large diamonds, like the renowned collier of Marie Antoinette composed by the Court jewellers Boehmer and Bossange. Numerous circumstances connected with it, too lengthy to relate here, gave to the affaire of the diamond necklace a world-wide celebrity, making it one of the chief events of the century. Though historically one of the world's most famous pieces of jewellery, the necklace itself, described in quaint but vivid language by Carlyle in his Miscellanies, calls for no special comment, being on the whole of comparatively small artistic importance. Its value—£90,000, a great sum for those days—lay in the size and quality of the brilliants and pendeloques of which it was composed.

A favourite point of adornment in female attire was still the breast, where, in the first part of the century, jewelled ornaments, or sévignés, in the form of bows and rosettes, hung with pendants and set with table-cut stones or rose diamonds, continued to be worn. Generally they assumed the girandole shape hung with pear-shaped pendants. About 1770 a large bunch of flowers, or a bouquet-shaped ornament formed of precious stones, was worn in the breast. For the latter the jeweller Lempereur enjoyed a great reputation. Upon the stiff bodice, which came into fashion at the end of the seventeenth century, scope was afforded for a goodly use of ornament, and soon we find the corsage literally covered with jewels, in a manner similar to that in which the ladies of the Renaissance almost completely covered the upper part of their dresses with pendent chain-ornaments. At the time, however, of which we now speak the ornaments are single pieces mounted upon the dress and arranged symmetrically in the form of a jewelled "stomacher" or devant de corsage. The Santini drawings contain many examples of this kind of open framework composed of precious stones; and several interesting designs for the same are figured on {319}Plates 16, 17, and 18 of Maria's Livre de Dessins de Jouaillerie et de Bijouterie. At this period also, when luxury reached its climax, even the panier or tucked-up upper skirt had the whole of its exaggerated dimensions sprinkled with pieces of jewellery, so that of this time again it may be said that the ladies of the Court displayed the whole of their wealth, and often enough of their credit too, upon a single dress.

Fashion endeavoured to fill a corresponding part in gentlemen's attire by adorning coat and waistcoat with buttons of artistic workmanship. To match the beautiful embroidered garments of the time, buttons were sewn with bugles, steel beads, or spangles; and many have survived which may be reckoned as real articles of jewellery. Every material and mode of decoration was applied to them. Occasionally we find buttons set with diamonds and other precious stones, but more often paste, or with odd natural stones such as agates, carnelians, marcasite, blood-stones, lapis-lazuli, or buttons of tortoise-shell, or of compositions such as Wedgwood ware, in frames of cut steel. Translucent blue glass or enamel, mounted or set with pearls, diamonds or pastes, and chased and coloured gold, were all fashionable. On the whole, cut steel was the most popular. A Birmingham craftsman by name of Heeley, who worked for Wedgwood about 1780, is recorded is being especially skilful at this class of work; while in France a certain Dauffe had almost a monopoly in the production of steel objects. Certainly some of the open-work steel buttons of the time—English as well as French—are jewels of a very high order.

Bracelets were mostly formed of bands of velvet with oval clasps. The clasp was decorated in a variety of ways, and was very frequently fitted with a painted or enamelled miniature. The practice of wearing miniatures in this way seems to have been a common {320}one, judging by the numerous advertisements inserted in the London Public Advertiser about the middle of the century by "ingenious artists," willing on "reasonable terms to paint elegant portraits in miniature for bracelets, rings, etc." Madame de Chamillart had amongst other jewels "Un petit portrait en mignature en forme de bracelet garny de quatre diamants, monté en or." In fact, according to Fontenay, the terms bracelet and boîte à portrait had for a time practically the same meaning.[187] Cameos were sometimes employed as bracelet clasps, but not to the same extent as they were subsequently under the Empire. In the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris are two portrait cameos in sardonyx (Nos. 788 and 927) which served as the clasps of the bracelets of Madame de Pompadour, and were bequeathed by her to Louis XV in 1764. The work of the celebrated gem-engraver Jacques Guay, the one represents Henri IV, and the other, which is signed, Louis XV. The mounting of each, an admirable example of French jewel-work of the time, is formed of a circlet of emeralds arranged in the manner of a laurel wreath, and tied at intervals by cords of rose diamonds terminating above and below in knots. Among other decorations for bracelets, mention may be made of the celebrated enamels produced at Battersea between 1750 and 1775, very many of which, oval in shape, were set in gold frames so as to be easily mounted in bracelets. The productions of the rival establishment at Bilston, in Staffordshire, were similarly employed, and, like the former, were frequently worn as buttons.

PLATE XLVII

image eighteenth-century necklaces, etc.

The finger ring in the eighteenth century was a particularly favourite jewel. That considerable attention was paid at the time to the design and decoration of the ring, may be judged from Bourguet's designs, which contain patterns for enamel-work intended for {321}its enrichment. The beauty of the sentiments displayed on the rings of the time is nowhere more charmingly expressed than on an English wedding-ring at South Kensington, which is formed of two hands in white enamel, holding between the thumbs and first fingers a rose diamond in the shape of a heart set in silver and surmounted with a jewelled coronet. It bears the date 1706 (Pl. XXXVI, 3). Other rings of similar style have the bezel formed of two precious stones in the form of hearts united by a knot. Rings which served simply as souvenirs of affection were very popular. In addition to the plain gold ring engraved with a posy or motto, were rings containing a like sentiment read by means of the first letters of the stones with which they are set.

The most typical ring of the period is perhaps the marquise ring, which dates from the second half of the century. The bezel, which is oblong, and either oval or octagonal, is often of such size that it covers the whole joint of the finger. It is formed of a plaque of transparent blue glass on matted gold, surrounded with diamonds, and set either with a single diamond, or with several arranged at regular intervals, sometimes in the form of a bouquet. Often instead of diamonds are pastes and even marcasite. Of other varieties of rings of the time it is necessary only to mention those set with Wedgwood cameos, or with stones such as moss-agates, and a form of agate somewhat similar, but of lighter colour, called the mocha stone. Mourning and memorial rings, of which this period was so prolific, will be spoken of subsequently.

An ornament that showed a peculiarly wide development throughout the eighteenth century was the shoe-buckle. Various kinds of buckles are recorded in the Caution to the Public, issued in 1733, in connection with his famous ware, by Edward, the son of Christopher Pinchbeck. They include the following: {322}buckles for ladies' breasts, stock-buckles, shoe-buckles, knee-buckles, girdle-buckles. Of these the most important was the buckle worn on the shoes of every one—man woman, and child—attached to the latchet or strap passing over the instep. It assumed all sorts of forms and was made and enriched with every conceivable material. It is interesting to observe that in spite of the immense number produced, hardly any two pairs of buckles are precisely alike—this is shown in the case of the collection of Sir S. Ponsonby Fane, which contains upwards of four hundred specimens. Towards the last years of the century buckles began to be supplanted by shoe strings. During this period of transition many attempts were made to foster their use.[188] On tickets to public entertainments at the time one occasionally finds a notice that "Gentlemen cannot be admitted with shoe strings." The latter, however, won the day, and about the year 1800 shoe-buckles disappeared from use.

The chatelaine was perhaps the most characteristic of all eighteenth-century ornaments. It was exceedingly popular, and formed, it may be observed, a very favourite object of the time for a wedding present. It usually consisted of a shield with a stout hook, suspended from which were several chains united by another plate or shield which carried the watch. Besides this were two or more chains for holding the watch-key or seals. Extraordinary skill was exercised in the elaboration of chatelaines. The plaques, hinged or united by chains, withstood the incursion of the precious stone that dominated all other forms of jewellery, and afforded peculiar opportunities for the display of the art of the goldsmith in chased and repoussé metal-work enriched with exquisite enamels. The jeweller's whole artistic skill was thus exhibited, not only upon the shields, but upon the solid links of {323}the chains and upon the various breloques hung therefrom. The chief of the latter was of course the watch. Its dial-plate was enriched with enamel, and chased and coloured gold: even the hands when made of gold showed a high degree of skilled workmanship within a very small space. The principal ornamental part was, however, the outer case; and it may be maintained that there was not any species of work connected with the goldsmith's art that was not displayed in its finest form upon watch-cases, more especially in the time of Louis XVI.

PLATE XLVIII

image eighteenth-century chatelaines

Beside the watch was hung the watch-key and seals, and all sorts of ornamental knick-knacks, as étuis and such-like. The elaborate chatelaine upon which nearly every conceivable kind of trinket could be attached, is the "equipage" thus described by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu in her fourth Town Eclogue:—

Behold this equipage by Mathers wrought
With fifty guineas (a great pen'orth!) bought!
See on the tooth-pick Mars and Cupid strive,
And both the struggling figures seem to live.
Upon the bottom see the Queen's bright face;
A myrtle foliage round the thimble case;
Jove, Jove himself does on the scissars shine,
The metal and the workmanship divine.

While women carried elaborate chatelaines, men hung from the watch in the fob-pocket bunches of seals which dangled beneath their embroidered waistcoats. Thus in Monsieur à la Mode, published about 1753, we read of—

A repeater by Graham, which the hours reveals;
Almost overbalanced with nick-nacks and seals.

It was the seal above all which experienced particular artistic development. Ever since the sixteenth century the seal had been worn in addition to the signet ring. Though hung perhaps like a pomander from a chain {324}at the neck or from the girdle, the seal seems to have been but rarely displayed on the person until the general introduction in the early seventeenth century of the watch, to which for more than a couple of centuries it was a regular accompaniment. The majority of seventeenth-century seals are of silver with the arms engraved in the metal; others of steel are on swivels and have three faces; others, again, of gold set with stones engraved with heraldic devices, have finely worked shanks, occasionally enriched with delicate enamel-work. The gold seals of the eighteenth century, which are among the best examples extant of rococo jewellery, are of open-work in the form of scroll and shell patterns, of admirable design and workmanship. It is out of the question to attempt a description of the numerous attractive forms these pendent seals assumed, or the peculiar interest they possess from an heraldic point of view.

About the year 1772 fashionable men carried a watch in each fob-pocket, from which hung bunches of seals and chains. From the custom set in England of introducing masculine fashions into dress, ladies likewise wore two watches, one on each side, together with rattling breloques, seals, and other appendages. In addition to the real watch with beautifully enamelled back which adorned the left side, they wore on the right what was called a fausse montre or false watch. These false watches were, however, often little less costly than the genuine article, being made of gold and silver, with jewelled and enamelled backs. The front had either an imitation dial-plate, some fanciful device, or a pin-cushion. For those of less ample means the fausse montre was made of gilt metal or even of coloured foils.


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CHAPTER XXXIII

NINETEENTH-CENTURY JEWELLERY

THE MODERN REVIVAL

JEWELLERY of the nineteenth century presents a very variegated picture both as regards material and technique, as well as in the display of every conceivable style. It is not so much a particular character of its own that has marked the jewellery of each epoch of the century, as a peculiar form of reproduction or rather reconstruction of older styles of art, based for the most part on false traditions. The whole period was an eclectic one, and the majority of its productions—the result of nothing less than aimless hesitation and fruitless endeavour to revive the forms of the past—display at least doubtful taste. Throughout the greater part of the time France led the fashion, and every one of the political changes she underwent left its mark on her artistic productions.

After the desolate epoch of the Revolution, under which the whole standard of jewellery was measurably lowered, a revival of something approaching luxury was experienced under the Directory. This was succeeded about the year 1800, owing to the stimulating dominance of the First Consul, by circumstances of real luxury. The period dating from Napoleon's accession to the Imperial Dignity four years later, till about 1814, was one of considerable importance in the history of jewellery.

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The severe and academic influence of the leading and most popular artist of the day, the painter David, and of his pupils, with their extravagant taste for the antique, was universally felt. Yet while the antique celebrated its triumph in all directions, the Empire failed to shake itself entirely free from eighteenth-century styles. As far indeed as jewellery was concerned, the classical revival cannot be said to have been altogether unhappy; for its ornaments are not without a certain charm. Like all else, they breathed the spirit of the past, and are not less formal and rigid than the other art productions of the period.

It was under the short-lived reign of the associated kings, termed the Directory, that the taste for the antique first became thoroughly dominant. Jewellery of all kinds assumed classical forms. The few individuals who were fortunate enough to procure them wore ancient Greek and Roman jewels; the rest had to be content with facsimiles of objects discovered at Pompeii, or simple copies adapted from representations on early vase paintings, sculptures, or engraved gems.

So exaggerated became the enthusiasm for the antique that, following the lead of Madame Tallien and Madame Récamier, the fashionables of the period adopted in its entirety, without regard for differences of climate, what they deemed to be classical costume, and appeared on public promenades in Paris with unstockinged feet in sandals that allowed them to exhibit jewels upon their toes.

PLATE XLIX

image empire head-ornaments

The affected classicism of the Republic and First Empire stimulated the use of engraved gems. Far from cameos and the less decorative intaglios being considered out of place with fine precious stones, they often occupied positions of honour, surrounded and mounted occasionally with important diamonds. In the majority of cases, however, they were used alone and were made up into special ornaments by themselves. {327}Antiques were worn when procurable, but the greater number of gems were of modern manufacture, carefully studied both as regards technique and style from ancient examples. Somewhat later, small mosaics, on which were figured classical subjects or buildings of ancient Rome, were also employed. These, together with cameos, generally on shell, were produced in quantities, particularly in Italy, where cameo cutters and mosaic workers still carry on a somewhat languishing trade in ornaments of this nature, Venice, Florence, and Rome sharing in the industry of mosaic jewellery; Rome, Naples, and the whole of Southern Italy in that of cameos. The production of both kinds of objects is now in a sterilised condition. They have entirely lost their earlier qualities, for the reason that they find but little favour and have ceased to be worn by the upper classes. Except during the height of the First Empire the fashion for engraved gems never took a very thorough hold. Ladies have seldom a taste for archæology. If a few, in accordance with the current idea, affected a sober and refined style of ornament, the majority soon wearied of the burden of cameos in the necklace and bracelet, and preferred sparkling stones to the delicate cutting of the gem. The general and instinctive preference for brilliant jewels did more than anything to kill the attempted employment of antique forms and designs.

As regards technique, the metal-work of the early nineteenth century generally displayed considerable poverty of material. The gold, if not pinchbeck imitation, was usually thin, light, and of low quality, with simple designs in the form of clusters of grapes. Borders of leaves and flowers in the antique style were stamped and chased sometimes in open-work, with small rose-shaped ornaments applied. Granulated, beaded, and purled work was much employed, and the surface of the metal was often matted. Artistic effect {328}in chased work was produced by the use of ornamental inlays, or rather overlays, of coloured gold.

Actual jewel-work and settings, as a rule, displayed good quality of workmanship. The general tendency lay in the direction of the coloured stones popular in ancient times—the topaz, peridot, aquamarine, and amethyst; together with precious stones, such as emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds, and with pearls. The latter were generally reserved only for the most sumptuous ornaments, but were occasionally used in conjunction with jewels of less value. The stones most commonly used were carnelians, moss-agates, turquoises, garnets, pink and yellow topazes, as well as coral, mingled together. Wedgwood ware and its imitations, popular in the latter years of the eighteenth century, continued for some time to meet with favour, while paste jewellery was also worn to some extent.

On every species of jewellery the taste for the antique was clearly visible. Ornaments for the head took the form of frontlets and diadems, hair-combs, hair-pins, triple chains, and strings of pearls. Earrings were in general use, together with necklaces, brooches, bracelets, rings, and girdles. The chief head-ornaments were wide metal combs, fixed in the hair in such a manner as to be visible from the front. The general form of the Empire comb, with its upright rows of pearls or coral, is well known, since a number of examples exist. At the same time frontlets or tours de tête were worn on the upper part of the forehead and over the hair. These, enriched with pearls, cameos, or precious stones, took the form of broad bands or coronets. Another ornament, which did not, however, come into fashion till about 1820, was the ferronnière—a band round the head, with a jewel in the middle of the forehead. It was generally a fine gold chain, but might be made of velvet ribbon or silken cord, or strings of beads. The origin of its title has been given {329}in connection with Italian jewellery of the fifteenth century. Cameos and moss-agates entered largely into the composition of necklaces as well as the various coloured stones mentioned above. Cameos often assumed considerable proportions. They were occasionally set with precious stones, and were linked together with fine chains. Bracelets were much worn, three on each arm: one on the upper part of the arm, a second just above the elbow, and a third upon the wrist. They were usually composed of a number of small chains, or even a band of velvet; while the clasp was formed by a cameo, or else an amethyst, peridot, or topaz set in stamped and pierced gold. Girdles for the most part were fashioned in the same manner as bracelets, with a large cameo on the clasp.

PLATE L

image early nineteenth-century jewellery

The pictures in the gallery at Versailles afford perhaps the best idea of ornaments in the Empire style; since jewellery is more clearly represented on French portraits than on any others of the time. Among the most striking of such portraits are those of Marie Pauline, Princess Borghese, by Lefèvre, of Caroline Buonaparte, Queen of Naples, by Madame Vigée-Lebrun, and of Madame Mère, by Gérard. The first has a high comb and bandeau, earrings, and girdle, all decorated with cameos, the second a parure of pearls and cameos, and the third a head-ornament mounted with a single large cameo. The coronation of Napoleon in 1804 furnished the painter David with the subject of a picture unrivalled in its kind—"Le Sacre de Napoleon ier à Notre-Dame," which is exhibited in the Louvre. This grandiose production, besides being a truly epic rendering of a great historical event, serves as a valuable document in the history of jewellery, in that it represents jewellery of the most magnificent kind carried by Josephine, the princesses, and the ladies of honour. The Empress is shown wearing comb and diadem of precious stones, brilliant earrings, and a {330}bracelet on the wrist formed of two rows of jewels united with a cameo. Her suite have, besides, necklaces and girdles mounted in several cases with cameos. Josephine herself possessed a perfect passion for engraved gems, and she actually induced Napoleon to have a number of antique cameos and intaglios removed from the gem collection in the Royal Library and made up into a complete parure of jewellery for her own use.

A German speciality of the expiring Empire was the cast-iron jewellery, brought into favour largely on account of the prevailing scarcity of gold and silver. A foundry for its production was first set up in 1804 at Berlin, where articles of great fineness were cast in sand moulds. In the year 1813, the time of the rising against the Napoleonic usurpation, more than eleven thousand pieces of iron jewellery were turned out, and among them five thousand crosses of the new order of the Iron Cross. In that year appeared the well-known iron rings. During the War of Liberation, when every man joined the Prussian regiments to fight against the French, the patriotic ladies who remained behind laid at the Altar of the Fatherland their valuable jewels, which were melted down for the benefit of the national war-chest. For the articles thus surrendered they received in exchange from the Government iron finger rings bearing the words "Eingetauscht zum Wohle des Vaterlandes," or the famous inscription "Gold gab ich für Eisen." In addition to crosses and rings, other jewels, such as diadems, necklaces, brooches, and bracelets, were executed in cast iron, open-worked and in relief (Pl. LI, 8). Complete parures comprising a comb, necklace, earrings, and bracelets are not infrequently met with, and the name of the manufacturer, such as "Geiss, Berlin," etc., is sometimes found stamped on them. Most of the work is in the antique taste, and is occasionally adorned with classical heads in the manner of Wedgwood and Tassie. Considering the material and {331}method of production, the fineness and lace-like delicacy of this iron jewellery is little less than marvellous.

PLATE LI

image buckles and necklaces
late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries

Another kind of nineteenth-century ornament, particularly popular in the first half of the century, was hair jewellery. It was favoured possibly in some cases less by inclination than by that necessity which had originally led the way for the use of iron and other less valuable materials. Finger rings, bracelets, necklaces, and watch-chains were plaited of the hair of the departed, brooches and medallions mounted with it, and even ornamental landscapes constructed of strands of human hair. Hair was worn as a gift of affection from the living; but it was chiefly employed for mourning or memorial jewellery. It will be referred to again when mourning jewellery is dealt with.

We enter about the year 1830 into the Romantic period—the days of the heroines of Balzac, the days when Byron and Ossian were à la mode, the days of a fancy chivalry and mediæval sentimentality, of Sir Walter Scott, and above all of the Gothic revival. Gothic motives, rampant in architecture, make their appearance also on bookbindings, furniture, and other things, and influence jewellery to a certain degree. Among the leaders of the movement so far as it affected jewellery were the goldsmiths Froment Meurice, and Robin, whose productions, executed in accordance with the Romantic taste, assumed the form of armoured knights, on foot, or fully equipped on horseback, lords and ladies in mediæval costume, and jewels which took the shape of compositions of a similar "elegant" nature.

At this period cameos were still worn, but seldom of strictly classical character. Sentimental hair jewellery likewise continued, as did the iron jewellery. The latter, however, no longer displayed classical forms, but debased Gothic designs. Chains of various kinds were in considerable favour. They were usually looped up at intervals with circular or oblong plaques of thin and {332}coloured gold set with small turquoises and garnets. With the development of machinery appeared thin goldwork, ornamented with stamped and pressed designs. Work of this kind, characteristic of its first decades, extended far into the nineteenth century.

As far as men's jewellery is concerned there is little or nothing to chronicle. Strangely enough, the masculine delight in splendid jewels that had existed up to the end of the eighteenth century, came all at once to an end, along with that older world on the ruins of which Napoleon rose. Almost all that remained to them was the bunch of seals, often of considerable size, that hung by a silken cord from the fob. It is true that occasionally beaux and macaronis actually wore earrings. But these were not employed solely as ornaments, but largely as the result of a fanciful idea, still prevalent in certain quarters, of the value of such objects against diseases of the eye.

Fashion next, about the middle of the century, harked back to rococo, and imitated the style of Louis XV. It was rococo of a kind, but lay as far from the eighteenth century as did Romantic Gothic from the Gothic of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Design for the most part was deplorably bad, defects in this direction being passed off under a glitter of stones.

Instead of the close setting which had so long satisfied the jeweller, open setting for precious stones became universal. Countless old and valuable ornaments perished. The diamonds and other precious stones were picked out of them and transferred to newer settings, and the beautiful old metal-work was ruthlessly melted down. Many fine jewels during the course of the nineteenth century have likewise been spoiled and reduced in value by their owners attempting to adapt them to a prevailing fashion. Vast is the number of family treasures that have undergone the fate of remounting. {333}It is to be hoped that the new-born interest in the beautiful work of earlier craftsmen may help to save what is left from the same sort of destruction that the ancient churches of our land have undergone as the result of ill-judged "restoration."

 

THE MODERN REVIVAL

Long prior to the developments that have taken place in recent years, attention had been attracted to the artistic qualities of gold and an impetus given to the manipulation of the simple material. It was early in the "sixties" that notice was first drawn to the gold jewellery then being executed in Rome, and the discoveries that had been effected in the working of the wrought metal by the firm of Castellani.

The head of this famous family was the goldsmith Fortunato Pio Castellani, one of the best-known jewellers and dealers of his day. In 1814, at an early age, he started a business in Rome, which he developed about 1826 on the lines of the antique work. The process of production of the old granulated gold jewellery of the ancient Etruscans—that in which the surface is covered with minute grains of gold set with absolute regularity—had long been a puzzle and problem to jewellers. Castellani was deeply interested in the lost art, and searched Italy through to find some survival of it. At last in St. Angelo in Vado, a village of the Apennines, in the corner of the Umbrian Marches, he found a caste of local goldsmiths who had preserved it in what seemed to be an unbroken tradition. He transported some of them to Rome, and together with his sons Alessandro and Augusto succeeded in imitating the tiny golden grains of the Etruscans and soldering them on to the surface of jewels. The work he accomplished in this direction has become famous all the world over.

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In 1851 Fortunato retired, and on his death in 1865 his property was divided—Augusto retaining the business, Alessandro setting himself up as a collector and dealer. Augusto, born 1829, carried on the traditions of his father's atelier, and was afterwards promoted to the Directorship of the Capitoline Museum.

Alessandro, the elder brother, was perhaps one of the most striking personalities of his age. Born in 1824, he first assisted his father; but his political opinions, which led him to take an active part in the revolutionary movement in Rome in 1848, and implicated him in the conspiracy of 1852, resulted in his imprisonment in the Castle of St. Angelo; but successfully feigning madness, he was liberated and sent out of the Pontifical States. He then proceeded to travel about exploiting the productions of the Casa Castellani. Gradually he devoted himself to archæological pursuits. His knowledge of these matters was profound, and he became the finest expert of his day. He was continually collecting, and dealt largely, his chief customers being the museums of Europe and America. The finest of the antique jewellery in the British Museum was purchased from him in 1872-1873. A few years before, in 1867, his unrivalled series of peasant ornaments, gathered together from all parts of Italy, was acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum, which also made large purchases at the sale that took place after his death in 1883.

The art of filigree and granulation practised by Castellani was carried to still greater perfection by another Italian, Carlo Giuliano, who was largely indebted to the discoveries of his compatriot. Examples of his work, with that of Castellani, are in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Since his death, his business house in London has been continued by his sons.

Another Italian who has surpassed both Castellani and Giuliano in the reproduction of the antique is Melillo {335}of Naples. His jewellery, though "copied closely from ancient models, has a certain modern cachet" and is in fact "a translation of the most refined ancient art into modern language."

An eminent English jeweller, whose name is worthy of record, was Robert Phillips of London, who died in 1881. He also came under the influence of Castellani. At the same time he was responsible for the production of some of the most original work executed in England during the Victorian era.

A forerunner in France of the modern movement in artistic jewellery, and one entitled to a high place in the history of the art, was the goldsmith Lucien Falize (b. 1838), who was a partner with M. Bapst, crown jeweller of the Second Empire. He succeeded Bapst as official goldsmith to the French Government, and died in 1897. Another great French jeweller was Eugène Fontenay, author of the important history of jewellery, who died in 1885.

Side by side with the improvement in taste which during the last few years has prompted people to preserve old jewellery, and a genuine love for its peculiar and indefinable attractions which has induced them to collect it, the present age has witnessed a truly remarkable revival in the artistic production of articles of personal ornament. The general awakening that has taken place in the industrial arts has nowhere made its influence more strongly felt than in respect to jewellery. Owing to the example set by the highest artistic spirits, which has affected even the ordinary productions of commerce, there has arisen a new school of jewellery, the residue of which, when the chaff of eccentricity on the one hand and coarse workmanship on the other is winnowed from it, consists in works which combine the charm and sense of appropriateness requisite to objects of personal adornment with qualities that mark them as individual works of art.

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The ornaments of the past reveal an elemental truth of art which it may be to the ultimate advantage of the decorative artificer of modern times to study and to imitate. They show, particularly in their most refined periods, that the simplest materials and the simplest modes of decoration can be associated with beauty of form and purity of design, and that the value of a personal ornament does not consist solely in the commercial cost of the materials, but rather in the artistic quality of its treatment. In the revival of the arts in the latter part of the nineteenth century the artistic styles of the past began to be carefully studied, and for the first time were brought together and exhibited as models. They have undoubtedly exercised a profound influence both on design and technique. It is well at the same time to remember that personal ornaments, as indeed all productions of former times, which are thus shown in museums, must not be reckoned with from one standpoint only. The intention of their public display is to afford material for instruction, investigation, and inspiration, for the craftsman, the student, and the "man in the street." Their function in this respect is not only to produce artists and craftsmen, or even connoisseurs, but to inspire the lay public with a love of beauty, and to induce a divine discontent with the ugliness with which it is surrounded.

Though it is very well to use and reproduce the forms and motives of the past, an indefinite persistence in that attitude is liable to be construed as a confession of æsthetic sterility. But while empty revivals and false adaptations are to be rejected, the reckless race after originality, resulting in the eccentricity which is so rife in modern art, should especially be avoided. It is the desire for originality instead of a modest devotion to fine workmanship, "a love for the outrageous and the bizarre, and a lack of proportion, both in {337}form and in choice of material," that has ruined much of the jewellery produced under the Nouveau Art movement.

If colour and form produced by a study of harmony and a limited appeal to nature could be united to elaboration and minuteness of finish, with symmetrical arrangements freed from purely mechanical detail of ornament; if more insight could be obtained into the spirit which produced those splendid fragments that have survived from the past, there would be a gradual return to a style of work wherein the inherent preciousness of material might be accompanied by a fuller appreciation of its artistic possibilities, and a way opened to the restoration of the art of the goldsmith to the honourable place it once held.

Apart from matters of design the new movement has resulted in great changes in the artistic aspect of jewellery. In distinction to the tendency hitherto prevalent which bids the metal mounting of jewellery to be rendered almost invisible, the working of gold and silver has once again become a matter of some moment. A second change, due to the study of old models, has been the revival of enamelling—an art which offers many an opportunity for the exercise of the craftsman's taste and skill, and has once again resumed its proper position as handmaid to the goldsmith. A third change has been the wider choice and employment of stones. Till recent years only those stones that are reckoned as fine—the diamond, ruby, emerald, and sapphire—have been allowed a place in jewellery. Though their commercial value can never be set aside, precious stones are now valued, as they were in Renaissance times, for the sake of their decorative properties. The taste for colour effects in jewellery has resulted in the adoption of certain gems not very precious, yet sufficiently rare, while the artistic value of broken colour in gems is beginning to be appreciated {338}in purely commercial productions. There is now a welcome tendency to use such stones as the aquamarine, peridot, zircon, topaz, tourmaline, chrysoprase, and others of beautiful colour and high decorative value. For a precious stone, as has been truly said, "is not beautiful because it is large, or costly, or extraordinary, but because of its colour, or its position in some decorative scheme."

The present master of the jeweller's art is René Lalique of Paris, universally recognised as the greatest of modern artists in this class of the fine handicrafts. He possesses a perfect mastery over materials of all sorts, even of such as ivory, horn, and mother-of-pearl, and above all enamel, especially that in open settings. To his wonderful dexterity of technique he unites a fertile imagination and infinite resource of design in the direction of naturalistic forms, as flowers, winged insects, and human figures.

The style of Lalique, freed entirely as it is from the forms of tradition, is carried out by several artists of individual talent, such as Lucien Gaillard, Gaston Laffitte, Georges Fouquet, Comte du Suau de la Croix, Vever, René Foy, and Louis Bonny. It has, in addition, hosts of imitators, whose productions are wrought with rare skill, but display, nevertheless, singular disregard of appropriateness and utility, and are further marred in many cases by eccentricities of design.

Much original, if not always very attractive, work has been produced also in Germany and Austria since the full expansion of the Nouveau Art movement about the year 1897. Among the first in Germany to display activity in the design and production of jewellery in the new style have been the artists Hirzel and Möhring, and Piloty of Munich. Van der Velde, Olbrich, and Schaper and J. H. Werner of Berlin have all obtained a reputation for their work in this direction. The movement has been fostered with success in the leading {339}art schools, under the superintendence of Gnauth at Nuremberg, Hammer and Göss at Karlsruhe, Graff at Stuttgart and Dresden, and Luthmer at Frankfort. The chief centres in Germany for the production of jewellery are Pforzheim, Hanau, and Gmünd. The leading craftsmen of Pforzheim are Zerrenden, Fahrner, Friessler, and Stoffler; while Gmünd possesses the well-known jeweller Hermann Bauer.

PLATE LII

image modern french jewellery

Among the leaders of the new art movement in Austria are the sculptor Gurschner, Dietrich, Prutscher, and Franz Hauptmann; while Elsa Unger, Anna Wagner, and Eugenie Munk have carried out distinctive work on the same lines. Belgium has produced some able craftsmen in the persons of Paul Dubois the sculptor, Ph. Wolfers, and Van Strydonck. The modern school of Denmark possesses the artists Slott-Möller, Bindesböll, Magnussen, and Bollin.

England, the pioneer of the latter-day renaissance of the decorative arts, can boast of a number of craftsmen of distinction in artistic jewellery. Among the leaders of the movement whose style and individuality have secured them recognition are Mr. H. Wilson, Mr. Henry H. Cunynghame, Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Dawson, Mr. C. R. Ashbee, Mr. Harold Stabler, Mr. Edgar Simpson, Mr. Alexander Fisher, Mrs. Bethune, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Gaskin, Mrs. Newman, Mrs. Traquair, Mrs. Hadaway, Mr. and Mrs. Partridge, and Mr. F. S. Robinson. One may also name H.H. Princess Louise Augusta of Schleswig-Holstein, and H.H. the Ranee of Sarawak, in addition to a number of others whose work has figured in exhibitions such as those held by the Arts and Crafts Society. The name of Mr. A. Lazenby Liberty, who has done much to foster new design in England, likewise deserves mention.

Messrs. Tiffany of New York have shown how artistic design may be combined with fine and rare gems—the natural instinct for which will have to be {340}gratified so long as jewellery is worn. A number of other firms both in England and France have in recent years displayed remarkable advance in this direction, also, as in the case of Messrs. Boucheron, in a skilful combination of coloured stones, as well as in a reserved use of enamel.

A hopeful sign for the future of this refined art is the thoroughness with which it is taught in schools of art throughout the country, and the eagerness and success with which it is practised also by a number of gifted amateurs. The work produced, though far behind that of continental craftsmen in point of execution, avoids many of the extravagances of the "new art," and exhibits, for the most part, taste and reserve in design, and adaptability to ultimate uses.


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CHAPTER XXXIV

PEASANT JEWELLERY

UNTIL the middle of the nineteenth century the peasants and natives of every country district of Europe wore modest gold and silver jewellery, of small pecuniary value, but of great artistic interest. A few years ago peasant jewellery was seldom sought for, and comparatively unknown; and collectors, better informed in other respects, did not think of saving it from the melting-pot. It is now, however, beginning to attract some of the attention it deserves.

This old peasant jewellery has at the present day nearly all passed out of the hands of its original owners. The chief cause of its disappearance has been increased facilities for travelling, which resulted in jewellery fashioned wholesale in industrial centres being distributed to the remotest rural districts. The demands of the modern collector, and improvements in present-day taste among certain of the cultured classes, which have led to the adoption of old articles of jewellery for personal use, have also contributed to the disappearance of peasant jewellery in recent years. The wiles of the dealer have induced peasants to yield up heirlooms, which, handed down for generations, have escaped the fate of the jewels of the wealthy and more fashionable. The great museums of art and industry springing up everywhere, especially in Germany, have {342}all obtained a generous share of the spoil, and have preserved it from what, until lately, would have been inevitable destruction.

So completely in most parts has this old jewellery gone out of use among the peasantry, that hardly a trace remains of a once flourishing industry carried on by local craftsmen working on traditional lines, and untrammelled by the artistic fashion of the moment. Machines driven by steam power have crushed out of existence skill to make things by hand, and the cold and monotonous production of the artisan has taken the place of the old work, whose peculiarly attractive character is due to its expressing the fresh ideas and inspiration of the artist.

The French peasant jewel par excellence is the cross. It is suspended from the neck by a velvet ribbon, and varies in form according to localities. Its size is often in proportion to the social condition of the wearer. Sometimes it attains considerable dimensions. Fixed upon the velvet ribbon, and drawing it together just above the cross is a slide or coulant, in the form of a bow, rosette, or heart, and of the same style as the cross itself. In many provinces of France, such as Savoy, gold is reserved exclusively for married women—custom having it that all their jewels should be of that metal. Silver, on the other hand, is often employed solely for girls' jewellery, possibly because it is considered the natural symbol of virginal purity, just as in ancient times it was consecrated to the virgin goddess, Diana.

PLATE LIII

image spanish, portuguese, flemish and french
peasant jewellery, etc.

The most interesting and perhaps the best-known French peasant jewellery is that of Normandy and the Auvergne. The chief Norman jewel is the cross. The most usual form is that which occurs in the districts round St. Lô and Caen. It is of silver, formed of five high bosses, four round and one pear-shaped, each set with a large foiled rock crystal (commonly known as {343}Diamant, Caillou, or Pierre d' Alençon) cut and faceted in the brilliant shape, and further ornamented with sprays set with small crystals in rose form. The lower limb of the cross, briolette or pear-shaped, is hinged, so as to render it less liable to get bent or broken in wear (Pl. LIII, 4). The spaces between the limbs are sometimes completely filled up with branched open-work set with small crystals. In the more northerly parts of France the cross is formed simply of large bosses set with crystals; but round about Rouen we meet with an abundance of spray-work. Other crosses of considerable size are formed of thin plates of pierced gold. The shape of the cross is indicated simply by crystal bosses, but its form is almost lost in the outline of the jewel. A favourite subject for representation on Rouennais jewellery is the Saint Esprit or Holy Dove. Employed as a breast-ornament or pendant, the Dove is either in gold or silver, mounted with crystals, or coloured pastes set close together. It is suspended from an ornament of open knot design, with a rosette-shaped slide above. In its beak is a branch, spray, or bunch of grapes, generally of coloured pastes. Peasant jewellery ceased to be worn in Normandy about 1840, when native costume was given up.

While Normandy relies chiefly on crystal quartz for its jewellery, the Auvergne can boast of a variety of gems, such as garnets, opals, spinels, and zircons, which are of frequent occurrence in the volcanic rock of Central France. The jewellery of Puy is mounted with cabochon stones in large high settings. Open-work circular pendants have a central boss with eight similar settings around. The Saint Esprit is also a popular jewel, but in these parts the form of the Dove is not completely carried out, the jewel being composed merely of five pear-shaped bosses to indicate the wings, body, head, and tail of the bird.

It is to be observed that the patterns of the jewels {344}here alluded to are not entirely original inventions of the peasantry. As a matter of fact, they are often from precisely the same models as the jewellery in use in the seventeenth and early part of the eighteenth century, and are very similar in style to the large series of original designs in the National Art Library, South Kensington, executed about that time by the Santini family of Florence. Their technique is also traditional. This is shown by the presence on many of the peasant jewels of Southern France, as well as of other districts, of the painted enamel which came in about 1640, and continued in use for upwards of a century. While fashion has shifted scores of times since those days, types and styles of jewellery then set remained unchanged in these quarters until the great industrial revolution of the nineteenth century and the strange and universal decline of taste that accompanied it.

Holland is one of the few countries that have retained their peasant jewellery. Not only is it displayed in abundance on festal occasions, such as weddings, but it is worn in everyday life by the well-to-do natives of the country districts. Much jewellery is employed in Zeeland. The country belles wear jutting out on either side of the lace cap curious corkscrew-like ornaments of gold, silver, or gilt metal, on which they hang pendants sometimes tipped with pearls. In the land of Goes a square gold ornament is pinned close to the face inside the lace halo that surrounds the head. Coral necklaces are worn, and jet ones for mourning. Boys have earrings and gold and silver buttons near the throat. The head-ornaments of North Holland and Utrecht consist of a broad thin band of gold or silver which encircles the skull and terminates at each end with the above-mentioned spiral ornaments. These bands are covered by a white muslin cap or by a cap decorated with coloured designs. The women of Gelderland {345}display costly caps of gold beaten out to fit each individual head. In Overyssel the lace cap terminates with gold ornaments, and the coral necklace has clasps of gold filigree. Men and boys wear flat silver buttons on the coat and gold at the collar. At the waist is a pair of large hammered discs of silver. The natives of the fertile country of Friesland possess vast stores of jewellery, generally of gold set with diamonds.

Very attractive peasant ornaments are still in use in Belgium. Long pendent crosses are worn, with earrings to match. They are of open-work floral and scroll designs, and are mounted with small rosettes set with rose diamonds—silver rosettes being applied to gold ornaments, gold to silver ones. The slide or coulant above the cross here forms part of the pendant, and is not, as in France, attached by the ribbon worn with it. The heart (Sacré Cœur) is not worn above the cross, as in France, but is used as a distinct ornament, as a rule in silver only. These open-work heart pendants, commonly found between Antwerp and Malines, and rarely elsewhere, have an opening in the centre hung with a movable setting, and a hinged crown-shaped ornament above. Instead of a crown is sometimes a flèche, two quivers and a bow—a love token. Flemish jewels, unlike the French, are set entirely with rose diamonds.

The peasant jewellery of Norway and Sweden is mainly of silver filigree. Precious stones do not take an important place in it. When used they are more often than not false, and are only sparingly applied for the sake of their colour. Particularly characteristic of almost all the ornaments of these parts are numerous small concave or saucer-like pieces of metal, highly polished, or small flat rings. They are suspended by links, particularly from the large circular buckle which is the chief article of jewellery. Most ornaments are circular in plan. Besides being executed in filigree, many of them are embossed or else cast—a style of work {346}admirably displayed on the huge silver-gilt crowns worn by Scandinavian brides.

The peasant ornaments of Germany present many varieties of design. Silver filigree of various kinds is employed for almost all of them. In the northern districts amber beads are naturally the commonest form of necklace, while hollow balls of silver are also worn strung together. Large flat hair-pins are used, the expanded heads of which are ornamented with raised filigree. Swiss and Tyrolese peasant jewellery is largely composed of garnets or garnet-coloured glass set in silver filigree.

So numerous are the different types of Italian peasant jewels that it is impossible to mention them all. Every small district, nay, every township, seems to have possessed ornaments that differed in some detail from those of its neighbours. Many of them display reminiscences of the antique. Their manufacture follows—or did till quite recent years—the old methods; the natives of certain out-of-the-way districts in Umbria still working in very much the same manner as the ancient Etruscans. All ornaments are somewhat voluminous. The head is uncovered, and presents an extensive field for hair-ornaments. The Lombards have all sorts of hair-pins, often a couple of dozen, stuck in nimbus fashion, and through them crosswise is passed another pin with an oval head at each end. Earrings are likewise of considerable dimensions, but light in spite of their size. Their surfaces are very frequently set with seed pearls. The finest existing collection of Italian peasant jewellery is that in the Victoria and Albert Museum, purchased from Signor Castellani in 1867. Of great beauty is the jewellery of the shores of the Adriatic, and that of the Greek Islands, probably made by descendants of the Venetian goldsmiths, and commonly known by the title of "Adriatic" jewellery (Pl. LIV). It is of thin gold, on which are {347}shallow cells filled with opaque enamels. Crescent-shaped earrings are formed of pendent parts hung with double pearls. Dating from the seventeenth century are elaborate and delicate pendants in the shape of fully rigged ships enriched with painted enamel and hung with clusters of pearls. Beautiful work of a similar nature was also produced in Sicily.

PLATE LIV

image "adriatic" jewellery

Hungarian and Spanish peasant ornaments have already been alluded to. In both these countries we find the native filigree enamel in sixteenth-century work, and painted enamel in that of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Spanish jewellery frequently takes the form of pendent reliquaries. It is usually of stout silver filigree, bearing traces of Moorish design. The Moorish style is also felt on Portuguese jewellery, which displays in addition a certain amount of what appears to be Indian influence. It is composed of gold filigree of very fine workmanship. Earrings and neck-chains are of such proportions that they reach respectively to the shoulders and the waist. In addition to the cross, star, heart, and crescent-shaped pendants are worn. A favourite form is one resembling an inverted artichoke. Openings are left in its surface, and within these spaces and on the edges of the jewel are hung little trembling pendants (Pl. LIII, 2). Portuguese jewellery of the eighteenth century, largely set with crystal, is admirably represented in the Museum of Fine Arts at Lisbon.


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CHAPTER XXXV

JEWELLERY IN PICTURES

ONE aspect of the present subject, more attractive perhaps than any other, is that which concerns the representation of personal ornaments in pictures. Scarcely as yet have pictures been fully appreciated from the point of view of their utility to antiquaries or the light they throw upon matters of historical inquiry. The important part which from the fifteenth century onwards they have played in connection with the subject of jewellery is sufficiently attested by the number of times they have already been referred to during the course of the present inquiry.

The truth, reality, and accuracy of the artists' work has eminently contributed to the value of these pictures. A sympathetic way of seeing things and reproducing them and a fine feeling for naturalistic detail is characteristic of all the work of the painters of early times, when a strength of realism made its wholesome influence universally felt. Such works, while they display the grandeur and magnificence of former ages and point out the fashions and customs of our ancestors, show in detail not only the bright splendour of patterned draperies in many materials, but also the shimmer of goldsmith's work in the form of a variety of actual ornaments, now for the most part entirely lost. In this way they set before us details unnoticed by chroniclers, and convey clearer ideas than can be attained by reading the most elaborate descriptive inventories.

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The special capability of the early painters for representing articles of jewellery need merely be alluded to again, seeing the close connection already shown, that always existed between them and the goldsmiths, in whose workshops most of them passed their apprenticeship. Every jewelled ornament figured in their works is, in fact, designed with the full knowledge of a goldsmith versed in his craft.

The artists of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries are notorious for the extreme and elaborate minuteness of their painting of jewels. In the portraits of the time careful accuracy in depicting ornaments was the duty, and evidently the delight, of the painter. In every early picture the various details of costume and jewellery are rendered with scrupulous care and refinement. Though placed in the most prominent and decorative positions, jewellery was never, in the best works, allowed to intrude or to occupy an exaggerated place in the composition. For however minutely defined these accessories may be, they are so fused into the general design that they are only apparent if one takes the trouble to look for them.

In addition to recognised masterpieces, there exists a vast number of pictures obviously not by the first masters, which, though of only moderate quality, do not actually offend by their inferiority. These equally well serve to illustrate details of jewellery and dress. In a picture of the first order such details, of importance in themselves, sink into insignificance beside the splendid qualities of a work of art: in less important pictures the ornamental accessories are all in all. It would be of great value to students if all public collections that possess costumes and ornaments could bring together—as has been done with marked success in the Germanic Museum at Nuremberg—series of portraits specially chosen to illustrate these details, such portraits, like the actual articles of dress {350}and jewellery, being, of course, old ones, not modern copies.

We may state, in general, that jewels figured in portraits are to be relied upon as being the actual objects possessed by the persons represented. All the early painters displayed, as has been said, a special love for jewel forms. They not only took their beautiful models as they found them, but being themselves mostly masters of the jeweller's craft, they devoted much attention to the adornment and the arrangement of the jewels of their models. It may be urged that painters are apt to indulge their fancy by decorating their sitters with jewels they do not possess, introduced to improve the colour or arrangement of the picture, or introduced in accordance with orders, like those of the good Mrs. Primrose, who expressly desired the painter of her portrait to put in as many jewels as he could for the money, and "not to be too frugal of his diamonds in her stomacher and hair."

It is unlikely, on the contrary, that any of the early painters departed from their usual methods of truth, reality, and accuracy; or, considering the elaborate detail with which they depicted jewellery, that they ever specially invented it for the portrait in which it occurs. It is much more probable that they worked from what they saw: for masters of painting have in all ages worked from models in preference to carrying out their own designs. An instance may be cited of the care which painters paid to the ornaments of their sitters. Preserved in the Archivio di Casa Gerini at Florence are certain unpublished documents[189] of the years 1579 to 1584 relating to the artist Alessandro Allori, in which is a list of the clothes and jewels that had been lent him from the wardrobe of the Grand Duchess, Bianca Cappello, when he was painting her portrait.

One or two of the peculiarities of artists in representing {351}jewellery are worthy of being mentioned. It is to be observed that the presence or absence of gilding on jewellery often serves to distinguish between German and Flemish paintings. Holbein almost always employed gold upon golden objects; but in the works of Mabuse, so rich in elaborate detail, paint alone suffices to produce the effect. The artists of those days possessed a marvellous facility for imitating the brilliance of gold by colour alone.

In examining the jewellery of sixteenth and seventeenth century portraits numbers of what appear to be black stones are frequently to be seen. These were evidently intended to represent diamonds. From early times, when the custom existed of improving, as it was considered, the colour of all stones by the use of foils, diamonds—the old stones of Golconda and Brazil, different in colour and quality from the diamonds of to-day—were usually backed with a black varnish composed of lamp-black and oil of mastic. This tinctura, or colouring of the diamond, which is alluded to by Cellini, would account for the intense and clear blacks and whites used by the artists of the time in depicting that precious stone.

In the work of some of the finest painters of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, so masterly is the handling, that in the contemplation of broad effects one may fail to notice how much detail the artists were able to combine with such breadth. In fact the detail they displayed is hardly less precise than that of the earlier painters. Mr. Davies[190] has some interesting remarks to make on the different modes of depicting jewellery adopted by first-class painters—by the one who paints it in detail and the other who treats it with freedom. "The first paints you, touch by touch, his chains, his bracelets, his tiara, link by link, and gem by gem, with precision so great that if you called in a fairly capable {352}goldsmith, of little or no intelligence, he would use them as a pattern and produce you an exact facsimile. The second obtains his result by summarized knowledge, letting his line lose itself and find itself again, a flash on a link, a sparkle on a gem suggesting all to the eye with a completeness which is fully as complete as the literal word for word translation of the other man. Call in a really intelligent goldsmith to this work and he would find it quite as easy as, or even easier than, the other to understand and reproduce from, but it would not do to make a tracing from, nor give as a pattern to one of his unintelligent apprentices."

Very attractive and valuable guides to the jewellery of the early period are the early Flemish-Burgundian paintings (p. 90), and those of the Italian masters of the fifteenth century (p. 167). The most fertile of sixteenth-century pictures for the present purpose are the German (p. 189), as may be judged from Herr Luthmer's Goldschmuck der Renaissance, in which are reproduced in colours a number of specimens of jewellery figured in contemporary pictures. In the second half of the sixteenth century and the early part of the seventeenth, the painters of the Low Countries especially excelled in the delineation of jewel forms. Among these artists are Sir Antonio More, Peter Pourbus, Lucas de Heere, Zucchero, Marc Gheeraerts, D. Mytens, Van Somer, and Janssens. By these and by numerous followers of Holbein, many pictures were painted, and exist in England at the present day. The technique of the great Dutch and Flemish painters of the seventeenth century, even of such as Frans Hals, was not incompatible, as Mr. Davies has shown, with the clear representation of personal ornaments.

The majority of pictures of the early part of the eighteenth century offer but slight indication of the jewellery of the time. The conventional style of portraiture {353}which then found favour did not allow such individual characteristics as personal ornaments to obtain a place in the portrait. In the canons for painters laid down by C. A. Du Fresnoy of Paris, entitled De arte graphica, which ruled artists of the first half of the eighteenth century, it was particularly enjoined that "portraits should not be overladen with gold and jewels." "The portrait painters," as Reynolds expressed it in speaking of his predecessors as far back as Lely and Kneller, "had a set of postures (and ornaments too) which they applied to all persons indiscriminately."

Seeing the reliance that may be placed on the jewellery figured in the portraits of earlier times, it is not unnatural to expect such detail to be of considerable service in art criticism. In the identification of a portrait much may rest on the identification of its jewels: for "a portrait," as Mr. Andrew Lang says, "with the jewels actually owned by the subject, if not 'the rose' (for it may be a copy of a lost original) has certainly been 'near the rose.'" But critics seldom think of examining the numerous extant royal and noble inventories and other documents such as wills containing lists of jewels, and of comparing the jewels described in them with those displayed in portraits.

This method, neglected as a rule in criticism, has been employed by Mr. Lang with conspicuous success in his Portraits and jewels of Mary Stuart, and has served to identify the remarkable portrait of the Scottish Queen in the possession of Lord Leven and Melville. Interesting as it is when the jewels depicted in the portraits are identical with those described in their owners' inventories, it is even more so when the actual jewels thus represented have survived to the present day, such as is the case with the Penruddock Jewel shown in Lucas de Heere's portrait of Sir George Penruddock; the Drake Jewel in Zucchero's portrait of Sir {354}Francis Drake; the Lyte Jewel in the portrait of Mr. Thomas Lyte; the earring of Charles I belonging to the Duke of Portland, shown in Van Dyck's portraits; and the earrings of Henrietta Maria in Lord Clifford's possession, shown in portraits of her painted by the same artist.


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CHAPTER XXXVI

FRAUDS AND FORGERIES

OWING to the important position that jewellery occupies in the domain of virtu, it is natural that it should receive particular attention at the hands of the fraudulent. On the question of frauds of jewellery we have to distinguish between forgeries—articles professing to be genuine ancient works of art—and counterfeits—imitations of real objects. Long before the forger, as we define him, set to work on the field of jewellery, there existed the business of the imitator of precious stones and precious metals—one of counterfeit rather than of forgery.

The production of false gems dates from the time that precious stones first came to be generally worn as personal ornaments. The manufacture of imitations, intended in many cases to pass as real stones, was an important branch of the art of the famous glassworkers of antiquity. These glass gems, or pastes as they are termed, were largely set in rings to meet the tastes of the poorer classes; and are referred to by Pliny as the "glass gems from the rings of the multitude." Would-be smart individuals, also, are frequently satirised by Martial for wearing in their rings glass pastes which they attempted to pass off as real stones. At the same time coloured foils were placed as the backing to transparent stones, and were employed to give a full hue to inferior-coloured stones.

Besides being employed for jewellery, precious {356}stones were made use of by the mediæval embroiderers to increase the effect of the coloured materials and gold thread in the decoration of their robes. But when we bear in mind the accurate descriptions given by Theophilus in his Diversarum Artium Schedula of the process of making false gems, it is only reasonable to assume that many of the so-called jewels were not in fact real gems, but imitations. Certain it is that in mediæval times the counterfeiting of precious stones was very largely carried on, while many accounts are preserved in early records of fines and other punishments inflicted on dishonest traders in gems who attempted to dispose of spurious stones, usually set in finger rings. In England and France during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries it was customary for the jewellers' guild of each town to have a rule prohibiting its members from setting paste gems in real gold or real gems in plated metal; from mounting Scottish pearls with those of the East; or mingling coloured glass, or false, with precious stones. As in earlier periods, a crystal or a colourless paste was made to imitate a coloured stone by backing it with a foil. At South Kensington an example exists, set in a gold ring of sixteenth-century German work (No. 1206-'03), of a white crystal, which is cut en cabochon and backed with a red foil, and bears a striking resemblance to a carbuncle (Pl. XXIII, 17).

Many books on precious stones, both old and new, give receipts for the manufacture of imitation gems, made of flint glass and coloured with oxides according to the originals they are intended to counterfeit. Apart from these are false gems produced with really fraudulent intent. Since imitation stones cannot resist the file, it is the practice, besides backing a crystal with coloured foil, to back a thin layer of genuine stone—intended to resist the test when examined for hardness—with a layer of glass coloured as required. Another {357}process of fabrication consists of placing a layer of glass between two layers of true stone. The place of the join in the "triplet" is hidden by the collet of the setting, and the deceit can only be detected by unsetting the stone and soaking it in chloroform. Another means employed for changing and improving the colours of stones is by heat, for the colour of nearly all gems is affected by heating.

Not pastes only but clear crystals have long been palmed off on the unwary for diamonds. Perhaps the best-known of these were crystals of quartz found in the Clifton limestone near Bristol, which went by the name of Bristol diamonds. They are alluded to as worn in the ears by the fop described in Lenton's Young Gallant's Whirligigg (1629). Quartz crystals found in the tin mines of Cornwall, and similar stones from the neighbourhood of Harrogate, still known respectively as Cornish and Harrogate diamonds, were also much employed for jewellery from the sixteenth century. Transparent stones from various parts of the Continent are given the names of the localities in which they are found. In France, rock crystal, cut in rose or brilliant form, went generally by the name of Pierre d' Alençon or Caillou du Rhin.

Of the transparent glass paste termed Stras or Strass we have already spoken. Though an imitation, the paste of eighteenth-century jewellery does not necessarily belong to the category of frauds and counterfeits, since it possesses a certain originality of its own, and does not appear to have been generally worn with intent to deceive. False or mock pearls on the other hand seem in some way to be rather more associated with deception, though they also can be made to serve for decorative purposes entirely apart from any such intent. To reproduce the lustre or "orient" characteristic of oriental pearls, use is made in the fabrication of imitations of a pearly {358}essence known as essence d'orient, obtained from the silvery scales on the underside of a fish called the bleak. Beads of blown glass slightly opalescent and treated with acid to produce an iridescent surface are coated internally with a film of the essence, and wax is then introduced to give the bead the desired weight. Other mock pearls are made up of a vitreous composition formed largely of the pearl essence. Their surface when burnished presents a fine lustre. These are generally termed Venetian pearls. Roman pearls are formed of external coatings produced by frequent dippings into a solution made of the pearliest parts of the oyster.

From earliest times frauds have been committed in connection with the precious metals. The goldsmiths and jewellers of the Middle Ages were forbidden to work in base metal, to use false stones of glass, or to put coloured foil beneath real stones. They were further expressly forbidden to manufacture personal ornaments for secular use of gilt or silvered copper or brass. Documents in the archives of the City of London contain many references to the perpetration of fraud in passing off as real, objects of brass or latten that had been silvered or gilded. In 1369 a conviction and punishment by the pillory took place for selling to "divers persons rings and fermails of latten, of coloured gold and silver, as being made of real gold and silver, in deceit, and to the grievous loss, of the common people"; and in 1376 a workman was imprisoned for having silvered 240 buttons of latten, and thirty-four latten rims for gipcières, and having "maliciously purposed and imagined to sell the same for pure silver, in deceit of the people." From actual objects that have survived it would seem that the more heinous offence was not infrequently committed of plating with silver the baser metals of tin, lead, and pewter. The statutes {359}of the goldsmiths ordained that no jeweller should sell any article of silver unless it was as fine as sterling, "nor sett it to sell before it be touched" with the leopard's head and maker's mark. But exceptions were always made in favour of small articles of jewellery "which could not reasonably bear the same touch." Such materials as pinchbeck and Similor and the plated objects of modern times hardly fall within the present category.

Actual forgeries of personal ornaments can scarcely be said to have been committed until comparatively recent years—not, in fact, until the demand for specimens of old jewellery on the part of the antiquary and connoisseur rendered their reproduction profitable.[191]

Owing to the high prices they command from collectors, or to various facilities afforded for their production and disposal, three classes of objects—Greek and Etruscan jewellery, mediæval rings, and enamelled pendants of the Renaissance—offer the strongest temptation to the forger; and he on his part displays such an amount of skill and ingenuity, that the fabrication of spurious antiquities of this kind may be said to have amounted almost to a fine art.

The much sought after gold jewellery of Greece and Etruria has received more attention than any other, partly on account of the fact that gold is subject to but slight oxidisation; for the patina of age is lacking even on ancient examples. Setting aside the beautiful imitations by such artists as Castellani, father and sons, and later by Melillo and Giuliano—which clever reproductions are known to have been sometimes foisted upon collectors by unscrupulous dealers—a great deal of really false work made with the intent of passing for old has been produced in Italy—chiefly at Rome, Naples, and Florence. On the subject of {360}such pseudo-antiques Count Tyszkiewicz has several good stories to tell in his Memories of an Old Collector. Of all objects of this kind, that which has claimed the largest share of public attention is the notorious "Tiara of Saitapharnes," which deceived several well-known authorities, and reposed for several years as a genuine antique in the Louvre, until the revelation in 1903 of the person of its ingenious author—a Russian Jew of Odessa.

The disclosure of this remarkable fraud was the climax of a long series of forgeries of ancient Greek jewellery from Southern Russia, which, purporting to be recovered from the Greek tombs of Olbia and Kertch, long renowned for their wealth in such objects, were purchased by more than one well-known collector. So keenly has the forger pursued his evil course in this particular domain, that, apart from that preserved in museums and in the cabinets of collectors whose personal judgment is sound on such matters, M. Eudel goes so far as to say that the greater portion of the antique jewellery extant is of recent fabrication.

Mediæval ornaments of all sorts are forged at the present day upon the Continent to a considerable extent, though less than are those of later times. One important centre of their production is Paris. Another, in earlier years in particular, was Frankfort, where visitors to watering-places on the Rhine have long been the victims of fraudulent vendors. Such mediæval objects, however well supported by a dealer's warranty of place and time of discovery, require, says Mr. King, to be examined by the amateur with a very suspicious and critical eye. Among other personal ornaments of this period that have received attention at the hands of the forger are the leaden badges known as pilgrims' signs. Many ingenious forgeries of the kind were produced about forty-five years ago, and purported to be brought to light by {361}workmen engaged in excavations near the Thames in the City of London. These were in large part the work of two illiterate mud-rakers on the banks of the river; while articles of like kind were shortly afterwards made by two men known as "Billy and Charley," who manufactured a number of curious pendent medals of lead and "cock-metal."[192] The discovery in the Seine, about the same time, of many genuine pilgrims' signs led to the circulation also in France of a quantity of spurious objects of a similar nature.

Renaissance pendants, the prizes of the connoisseur, are favourite subjects for reproduction at the present day, for, unlike the earlier objects, they are not ill-adapted for personal use. Jewellery in the Cinquecento style has for several years past been made in large quantities at Vienna. These jewels are generally not in gold, like the works they profess to imitate, but in silver-gilt, and as a result their enamel is never of fine quality, their general appearance is not up to the standard of the old, and their workmanship is mostly very mechanical. Apart from these and similar works, made also in France and generally sold in jewellers' shops as modern productions, there are others which pretend to age. Though one seldom meets with examples that approach the best productions of the Renaissance, objects of the kind are occasionally imitated with such proficiency, that in collecting specimens of early jewellery in no instances is it necessary to exercise greater caution than in those of the Cinquecento.

Fine jewellery of the eighteenth century, now almost equally sought after—watches, chatelaines, rings, and brooches—has been multiplied in quantities during recent years. As the brooches of this date are very {362}often mounted with rose-cut diamonds, care has been taken to employ stones cut in this manner. Their settings generally distinguish the copies. Again, as M. Eudel points out, when fine old diamond-work has been sent to be reset, the jeweller preserves the old mounts, sets them with modern stones or pastes, and sells them as genuine old work. For the purpose of furthering the deception complete parures purporting to be seventeenth or eighteenth century work are offered for sale in genuine old leather or shagreen cases. A set of jewels may even be made for the special purpose of fitting such a case, or an entirely new case constructed, and treated in such a manner as to give it an appearance of age.


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CHAPTER XXXVII

MEMENTO MORI

"I will keep it,
As they keep deaths' heads in rings,
To cry memento to me."

THE study of the various forms of personal ornament by means of which the memory of the dead or of death itself has been preserved by the living is one which offers a wide field for investigation. The Egyptians enforced the precept "Memento Mori" by introducing at their banquets a small coffin containing the image of a corpse which, according to Herodotus, was shown to each guest. In classical times skeletons were rarely represented, though one is sculptured on a tomb at Pompeii.

The warning "Memento Mori" manifested itself in divers fashions in the Middle Ages, the most conspicuous being the famous "Dance of Death," which made its début in the fourteenth century, and was figured by Holbein in the sixteenth. Testimony of the desire of all to keep the warning constantly before the mind is borne by personal ornaments of various kinds displaying emblems of mortality. In order to arrive at the meaning of these crude emblems so often applied to objects of jewellery, regard should be paid to the feelings of the times that gave them birth.

During the latter period of the Middle Ages the grim and ascetic contemplation of death caused the artists of that period to represent it as the devil, the father of sin, horned and cloven-hoofed, carrying {364}off the sinful souls and forcing them into the mouth of hell. But when during the fifteenth century "printing excited men's imaginations, when the first discovery of the ancient classics roused their emulation and stimulated their unrest, when the Renaissance in art increased their eagerness to express their thoughts and multiplied their method of expression,"[193] and their conscience was turned to the latter end and the unseen world, then at length did death appear, no longer as the father of sin, but altered into a familiar and human personification.

Side by side with the strange vigour and extraordinary joy in life that marked the period, there existed a great contempt for the value of life and a gross familiarity with death. It was Death himself, according to the imagination of the sixteenth century, who, always at hand, clutched men of every age and condition by the sleeve and hurried them all unwillingly away.

The emblems of death were always presented in close touch with the living. The forms they took—the skeleton, or simply the skull, or Death's head, with cross-bones—were rendered in the sixteenth century by both painter and sculptor; but it was reserved for the goldsmith—the sculptor and painter in one—to represent them on jewellery through the medium of the precious metals enriched with gems and coloured enamels. They figured on every kind of ornament. Brooches with enamelled skulls were fastened as enseignes upon the hat; golden jewels like funereal objects in shape of coffins holding enamelled skeletons hung from the neck; rosary beads, pomanders and watches in the form of human skulls were attached to the waist; and rings bearing Death's heads and other emblems were worn upon the fingers.

A great impetus was given to the use of such articles of adornment by Diana of Poitiers when she became {365}mistress of Henry II of France. She was then a widow in mourning; and the complaisant Court not only adopted her black and white as the fashionable colour, but covered their personal ornaments with emblems of death.

Jewels of this description, it is clear, were not necessarily carried in remembrance of any special individual. With their legend "Memento Mori" they were simply reminders of Death in the abstract. As such they characterised exactly the temper of the time, and were quite commonly worn by the upper and middle classes, especially by those who affected a respectable gravity. At the time of which we now speak the personal badge or devise, an obscure expression of some particular conceit of its wearer, was at the height of fashion. In its elaboration the various emblems of death were largely put under contribution, their choice for the purpose being the outcome of the special disposition of those who adopted them. Perhaps the most notable instance of the representation of a badge of this kind is in Holbein's famous "Ambassadors," in the National Gallery. Here Jean de Dinteville, who stands on the left of the picture, wears a circular jewel formed of a white enamelled skull in a gold mount, pinned as an enseigne to the lower rim of his small black bonnet.

Amongst sundry ornaments bearing mortuary devices, there is a good example at South Kensington—a Memento Mori charm of enamelled gold in the form of a coffin containing a minutely articulated skeleton. It is English work of the Elizabethan period, and was found at Tor Abbey, Devonshire (Pl. XLIV, 16).

No article of decoration has been more extensively used as a "Memento Mori" or for memorial purposes than the finger ring. The association of the ring is largely with affairs of the heart, and lovers are united with it. And since the form itself is emblematic of {366}eternity, so by this same token of affection has the memory of departed friends been kept green.

The sepulchral emblems referred to were not made use of for mediæval ornaments. But in the sixteenth century they were very frequent, especially on rings. One of the most remarkable specimens of the wonderful mastery over technical difficulties which stamps the goldsmith's work of this time is a "Memento Mori" ring of German work in the Waddesdon Bequest. Its bezel or top is in the form of a book, decorated at each corner with a diamond, emerald, sapphire, and ruby, with snakes and toads between them. In the centre is a death's head. The lid on opening discloses a recumbent figure with skull and hour-glass. On the shoulders of the ring, supporting the bezel, are figures of Adam and Eve representing The Fall and Expulsion from Eden. All the figures are enamelled in high relief, and though merely a fraction of an inch in size, are executed with extraordinary fidelity. A ring described as having belonged to Mary Stuart is in the possession of the Earl of Ilchester. Its bezel, composed of a large ruby cut in the form of a death's head and set with diamond eyes, is supported underneath by cross-bones in enamel. Woeiriot's beautiful collection of designs for rings, of the year 1561, contains a ring of this kind surmounted with a skull and cross-bones; and Gilles Légaré's Recueil of a century later has an engraving of similar pattern (Pl. XL).

English rings of the sixteenth century have a death's head carved in intaglio on carnelian, or sunk in the metal of the ring and sometimes filled with enamel. Around is the motto "Memento Mori," and similar expressions in Latin or in English (Pl. XXXVI, 12). A certain Agnes Hals whose will is dated 1554 bequeathed to her niece "my rynge of gold with the wepinge eie," and to her son "my rynge with the dead manes head."

From the commencement of the seventeenth century {367}Memento Mori rings begin to be worn also as memorials of the departed, and bequests of money were frequently made for their purchase. The decoration of many of the rings of this period is very curious. On some the death's head in its natural shape is beautifully formed in enamel, has small diamond eyes, and is supported on each side by skeletons bent along the hoop of the ring. The bezel of others is of crystal in the shape of a coffin, the lid of which on being removed discloses a skeleton. Widows on the death of their husbands sometimes converted their wedding rings into memorial rings. This was done by engraving outside an elongated skeleton, the bones of which were brought into prominence by a background of black enamel.

Inside the memorial rings of the time was often a motto or posy, appropriate for the purpose, sometimes rhyming:—

Prepared be
To follow me;

or

I restless live, yet hope to see
That day of Christ, and then see thee.

Rings of this kind, commonly known as mourning rings, were frequently given, together with gloves and hat-bands, to those who attended at funerals. They were inscribed, in addition to a posy, with the initials of the deceased and the date. Evelyn at his son's funeral in 1658 distributed a number of rings with the motto "Dominus abstulit." At Pepys' funeral upwards of a hundred and thirty rings were given to friends and relatives.

Mention must be made, amongst other memorial jewellery, of the various objects worn in memory of Charles I. Most of these are finger rings containing a portrait of the ill-fated monarch, which were made and worn by Royalists after his execution. Some are so contrived that the portrait can only be discovered by opening a lid formed of a table diamond. They were {368}doubtless used by those for whom devotion of the kind was dangerous. Other jewels worn in memory of the Royal Martyr were heart-shaped lockets, inscribed and decorated in a suitably funereal manner with skulls, cross-bones, and like emblems.

An important group of ornaments, dating from the time of Charles II to that of Queen Anne, are those in the form of small memorial brooches, lockets, bracelet clasps, buttons, and slides with loops at the back for attachment to a velvet band. They are of considerable interest in that they represent almost the only surviving examples of English jewellery of the time. The Franks Bequest in the British Museum contains several specimens. They usually have letters in a fine filigree of gold entwined in a monogram, laid on a ground of crimson silk, and covered with a thick crystal set in gold. The gold filigree, which is of extraordinary delicacy, is often laid on braids of hair arranged in various designs, and accompanied by the skull and cross-bones. The crystal covering is sometimes cut in table form, but is more often rose-cut. The locket surrounded with pearls shown on Plate XLIV has on its surface no less than a hundred facets.

Memorial rings of the same period have bezels with similar designs beneath a rose diamond or faceted crystal. Their hoops are mostly enamelled black on the shoulders. In the second quarter of the eighteenth century the mortuary emblems of skull and cross-bones in general disappear. The hoop of the ring is shaped in the form of a scroll or ribbon, and set with a small diamond, a coloured stone, or usually a white crystal. Around the hoop is inscribed in enamel the name and age of the deceased, and date of death. Black enamel was used for those who had been married; while white was employed for the unmarried—just as it was the practice at the funeral of an unmarried man or woman for the mourners and attendants to be clothed in white.

{369}

Mourning jewellery was extremely popular in England towards the end of the eighteenth and in the early part of the nineteenth century. The variety of design in objects of the kind then in use, and the ingenuity displayed in their production, may well be judged from a collection numbering upwards of one hundred and fifty specimens in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Some mementoes of the deceased are simply miniature portraits, as well as cameos and silhouettes, the miniature sometimes taking the form of a single eye set round with pearls or diamonds. But in most cases it appears to have been the custom to wear in lockets, brooches, and rings microscopic devices—works of infinite patience and skill—wrought in hair, with initials and other designs cunningly worked in seed pearls. There were also, sometimes, paintings in grisaille (Pl. XLVII, 2, 3). These often represented a lady in mourning garb weeping over a funeral urn, in the style of the ornament worn by Mr. Wemmick, the attorney's clerk in Great Expectations, of whom Dickens gives the following inimitable description: "I judged him to be a bachelor from the frayed condition of his linen, and he appeared to have sustained a good many bereavements; for he wore at least four mourning rings, besides a brooch representing a lady and a weeping willow at a tomb with an urn on it. I noticed, too, that several rings and seals hung at his watch chain, as if he were quite laden with remembrances of departed friends." Further on Mr. Wemmick himself describes his personal jewellery, and concludes by remarking: "I always take 'em. They're curiosities. And they're property. They may not be worth much, but, after all, they're property and portable.... My guiding-star always is, Get hold of portable property."

The painted brooches backed with hair and set round with pearls form, as a matter of fact, very pretty {370}jewels, in spite of the sombreness of their subject and the trivial sentimentality of their mottoes, which run in this vein: "Whose hair I wear—-I loved most dear."

Mourning jewellery was usually set with pearls, garnets, or more often jet. The last, until a short while ago, was in universal favour, and was fashioned into all sorts of ornaments. It fortunately now meets with but little demand. The same applies to hair jewellery, of human hair woven in many intricate plaitings into brooches, rings, bracelets, and chains. The brooches of about the "forties" have a broad border inscribed with the word "Memory," etc., in Gothic letters on black enamel, and in the centre a panel of plaited hair. The custom of wearing ornaments composed of such sombre and unpleasing material has now to all intents and purposes ceased, though it is carried on to a certain extent in France, where ouvrages en cheveux in the form of bracelets and lockets are still worn as précieux souvenirs de famille.

After the middle of the nineteenth century the use of mourning rings and other memorial jewellery began to die out. The goddess Fashion, who throughout all ages has waged war on the productions of the goldsmith, has laid a heavier hand on these than on any other forms of personal ornament—a circumstance which accounts for the survival at the present day of a comparatively small proportion of the enormous quantity of objects of this description that must formerly have been produced. Most families from time to time have consigned to the melting-pot accumulations of these memorials of their predecessors; and those who have been long in the jeweller's business confess to the hundreds of such relics that they have broken up. It is to be hoped that the present-day revival may lead to the preservation of what remain of these quaint mementoes of our frail mortality.


{371}

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INDEX

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, Y, Z

Ȧāh-Ḥetep, 3, 5
À Becket, Thomas. See Thomas à Becket
Aberford (Yorks), 72
Abingdon brooch, 60
Acorn-shaped pendants, Phoenician, 10
Acorn-shaped pendants, worn by Henry VIII, 206
Acton, John, 302, 304
Acus, xli, xlii, 60, 127
Adalbert of Saxony, 137
Adams (potter), 315
Adriatic, 83
"     jewellery, 246, 347
Ægean, 12
Ægides, 6
Aetites, 122
Aglets, 268-9
Agnus Dei, 72, 122
Agnolo, Luca, 185
Agrafes, 140
Aigrettes, Hungarian, 198
"        jewelled, 230, 231
"          "      sockets for, 230
"        17 cent., 230, 231, 281, 290, 291, 303
"        18 cent., 309, 312, 316, 317
Aigulets, 268
Aix-la-Chapelle, Treasury, 118, 139
Albacete, 9
Albert V, Duke of Bavaria, 194
"    VI, Duke of Bavaria, 248
Albini, D. M., 309
Alciatus, A., 223
Aldegrever, H., 185, 193, 194, 250, 259
Alençon, Pierre d', 343, 357
Alexandria, 93
Alfonso I, Duke of Ferrara, 158
"    II, Duke of Ferrara, 292
Alfred the Great, 68, 69, 71
"    Jewel, 68, 69
Algeria, Celtic brooch in, 76
Algerian women, head-ornaments of, 9
Alhstan, Bishop of Sherborne, 71
Alicante, 9
Allori, Alessandro, 350
Altdorfer, A., 189
Altoetting (Bavaria), 88
Amadas, Robert, 208
Ambassadors, jewellery given to, Eng., 17 cent., 306
Amber in Anglo-Saxon jewellery, 58
"  in ancient Irish jewellery, 42
"  in German peasant jewellery, 346
"  in early Italian jewellery, 24
"  in prehistoric jewellery, 39
"  in Roman jewellery, 30
"  in Romano-British jewellery, 45
Ambergris, 125 n.
Amboise, Cardinal d', 199
Amethystine quartz, beads of, in Anglo-Saxon jewellery, 58
Amethysts, 19 cent., 328, 329
Amman, Jost, 270
Amourette, 146
Amphoræ, 8, 10
Amphora-shaped ornaments, Greek, 16
Amsterdam, Charles I's jewellery sent over to, 305
Amulets, Egyptian, 2
"      Etruscan, 25
"      medl., 103, 122, 132
"      in medl. rings, 151
"      Roman, 29, 32
"      Romano-British, 47
Ananizapta, 152
Androuet Ducerceau, J., 201, 219, 241, 246, 265, 269
Angell, John, 208
Angles, 56
Anglo-Saxon jewellery, 51, 56-74
Ankles, rings for, 6
Ann Boleyn, Q. of England, 212
Anne of Austria, wife of Albert V, Duke of Bavaria, 195
"  of Bohemia, Q. of England, 141
"  of Denmark, Q. of England, 268, 301
Annunciation, on medl. morses, 139
"        on Renaiss. pendants, 244-5
Anselm, 92
Anthony, Dericke, 220
Antioch, sack of, 33
Antonio di Girolamo, 175
Antwerp, corporation of goldsmiths, 155
"     engravers of designs for jewellery, 196
"     Hans of. See Hans.
"     Museum, 227 n.
"     port of, 16 cent., 167
Annulus vertuosus, 147
Aphrodite, 28
Arabella Stuart, 299
Arabs in Spain and Sicily, 84
Ardagh chalice, 66
Ark on Elizabethan jewellery, 255, 256
Armada jewels, 217, 255
Armagnacs, badge of, 110
Armento, 16
Armillæ, ancient British, 41
"       Roman, 30
Armlet, Hunsdon, 218
Armlets, xliv
"     ancient Irish, 42
"     medl., 157-8
"     Roman, 30
"     Romano-British, 47
Arphe, Juan de, 202
Arrow heads, prehistoric, as charms, in Etruscan jewellery, 25
"            "          "        medl. jewellery, 122
Art Nouveau, 337, 338
Arundel, Eleanor, Countess of, 113
Ashbee, C. R., 339
Ashmole, Elias, 238
Ashmolean Museum. See Oxford
Asia Minor, 8, 14
Assyria, 7, 8
Assyrian art, 12
Athelney, Isle of, 68
Athene, 16
Athens, National Museum, 11
Attavante, M., 175
Augsburg, goldsmiths, 192
"       jewellery made at, 202, 203, 205
"       in 16 cent., 180, 189, 198, 210
Augustine, St., 65, 66
Augustus, Emperor, cameo of, 103
"       II, Elector of Saxony, 310, 311
Aulmonière, 165
Autun, Gallo-Roman enamelled jewellery found at, 46
Auvergne, peasant jewellery, 342-3


Babelon, E. C. F, 266
Bacchus, 24
Backwell, Edward, 305
Bacon, Sir F., 100
Bactria, 51
Baden, Margraves of, 250, 261
Badges, 116, 365
"     for hats, medl., 107-12
"     English, 16-17 cent., 257
"     pendent, medl. 110
"       "    Spanish, 17 cent., 204
Bags, at girdles, Anglo-Saxon, 63
Bague, 258
Bagues à trois grains, 73
Bain, P., 282
Baldrick, 93, 164
Baldung, Hans. See Grien
Baldwin, K. of Jerusalem, 119
Baltic, amber from, in Anglo-Saxon jewellery, 58
Balzac, H. de, 331
Bandeau, French, 19 cent., 329
"     Italian, 15 cent., 107
Bannatyne Club, 220
Bapst, G., 335
Barbarian tribes, migrations of, 49
Barbaric jewellery of Europe, 49-55
Barbor jewel, 218, 254
"   William, 254
Barcelona, goldsmiths of, 202, 204
Barclay, A., 236
Baroncelli, Pierantonio, Maria, wife of, 114, 286
Barnfield, R., 265
Barrows, or graves, Anglo-Saxon, 57
Bars of girdles, medl., 162 n.
Basalt, 5
Basil, xlv
Basil the Macedonian, Emperor, 34
Basle, Historical Museum, 192
Basse-taille enamel. See Enamel
Bast, 6
Batrachites, 151
Battersea enamel, 320
Bauer, Hermann, 339
Baumann, D., 309
Bavaria, Dukes of, 194, 248
Bavarian National Museum. See Munich
Baudrier, 164
Beaded work, 19 cent., 327
Beads, Anglo-Saxon, 58
"    or balls of gold, on Anglo-Saxon rings, 73
"    ancient British, 40
"      "    Irish, 42
"    Egyptian, 4-6
"    filigree, for perfumes, 265
"    glass, Romano-British, 45
"    jet, Romano-British, 47
"    Phoenician, 10
"    Roman, 29
"    rosary, 124-5
Beatrice D'Este, Duchess of Milan, 172
Beams, of gypcières, 165
Beaumont and Fletcher (quoted), 265
Bede, The Venerable, 67
Bees, gold, jewelled, 53
Belgium, peasant jewellery, 345-6
Belisarius, 33
Bells, hung from medl. girdles, 164
"        "    Renaiss. pendants, 250
Belts, xlv, xlvi
"    Anglo-Saxon, 63
"    medl., 159-65
"      "    resemblence to fillets, 105
"    military, medl., 163-4
Bentzen, J., 284
Berengaria, of Navarre, Q. of England, xliii, 128
Beresford-Hope cross, 36
Berghem, Louis de, 209, 277
Berkeley Castle, 73, 218, 253, 265, 266
"    Elizabeth, Lady, dau. of Lord Hunsdon, 218
"    family, 274
"    heirlooms, 218
"    Thomas, Lord, 116
Berlin, Crown Treasury, 251
"    iron jewellery made in, 330
"    Museums, 3, 9, 139
"        "    pictures in, 90, 106, 168, 261
Bernal, Ralph, 133
Berne, 210
"    Museum, 64
Bernhard III, Margrave of Baden, 261
Bettystown, Co. Louth, 78
Betnüsse, 125
Beuvray, Mont, near Autun, 46
Bezel, xlv
Bezoar stone, 122
Bibracte, 46 n.
Bijouterie, 277
"Billy and Charley," 360
Bilston enamel, 320
Bindesböll, T., 339
Birckenhultz, P., 231, 234, 281
Birds on Teutonic jewellery, 57, 58
"  "  Renaiss. pendants, 249
Birmingham, steelwork, 315, 319
Bisamapfel, 275 n.
Black Sea, 14
Blondus. See Le Blon.
Boccardi, Giovanni di Guiliano, 175
Bodkins (hair-pins), Renaiss., 232, 233
Bodleian Library. See Oxford.
Boehmer, 318
Boethius, 100
"Boglars," 198
Bohemia, medl. pendants, 121
"     Renaiss. jewellery, 188
Boîte à portrait, 320
Bollin, M., 339
Bologna, Church of S. Maria della Misericordia, 170
"     Picture Gallery, 170
Bömmel, W. H., 309
Bonny, Louis, 338
Books, pendent to girdle, 272-4
Bordier, P., 304
Bordone, Paris, 263
Borghese, Marie Pauline, Princess, 329
Borgia, Cæsar, 100
Bossange, 318
Bossington (near Stockbridge), 73
Bosworth Jewel, 219
Bothwell, Earl of, 221
Botticelli, Sandro, 169
Boucheron, Messrs., 340
Boulton and Watt, 315
Bourchier, Lord, 110
Bouquet, D., 297
Bouquets, jewelled, 17 cent., 281, 290
"           "    on the breast, 18 cent., 318
Bouquets d'orfévrerie, 295
Bourdon, Pierre, 309
Bourguet, Jean, 309, 320
Bow, jewelled, on breast, 17 cent., 204, 294
"      "    "    "    18 cent., 308, 318
Bow-shaped brooches, Romano-British, 46
Bowles, Thomas, 310
Boyvin, René, 201, 265
Bracelets, xliv
"      Byzantine, 37
"      clasps, memorial, English, 17-18 cent., 368
"      Egyptian, 6
"      Etruscan, 25
"      Greek, 10
"      hair, 19 cent., 331
"      ancient Irish, 42
"      medl., 157-8
"      Renaiss., 264-7
"        "      designs for, 265, 269
"      Roman, 30
"      Romano-British, 47
"      17 cent., 294
"      18 cent., 309, 313, 319, 320
"      19 cent., 329
Brachiale, 30
Bracteæ, Greek, 19
Bracteate coins, in Anglo-Saxon jewellery, 59
Bracteates, gold, 13
Brandenburg, Fred. William, Elector of, 238
Brantôme, 181, 200
"Bravery," 299
Braybrooke collection of rings, 264
Brazil diamonds, 351
Breast ornaments, medl., 135, etc.
"    17 cent., 204, 294
"    18 cent., 308, 318
Bremen, Kunsthalle, 190
"Brethren," "The Three." See "Brothers"
Briceau, 309
Briolettes, 291, 317, 343
Bristol diamond, 259, 357
Britain, invasion of, by Teutonic races, 56
"     Roman occupation of, 44
British Isles, prehistoric jewellery, 39
British Museum. See London
Britons, 39
Broche, 127
Broighter, near Limavady, 43
Bromsgrove Church, 154
Bronze Age, 39
"    ornaments, British, 39, 41, 45
Bronzino, Angelo, 233
Brooches, xl-xliv
"       Anglo-Saxon, xlii, xliii, 50, 59-62, 70
"       Byzantine, 36, 37, 70
"       Celtic, xlii-xliv, 74-9, 131
"       circular, xlii, xliv
"       cruciform, xlii, 61
"       disc-shaped, xlii, xliii
"       Flemish-Burgundian, 15 cent., 143-6
"       Greek, 18, 19
"       hair, 19 cent., 331
"       hat, 108. See also Enseignes
"       by Holbein, 212
"       Italian, 15 cent., 174
"       Luckenbooth, 133-4, 165
"       medl., 121, 127, 144
"         "    English, 93, 94
"         "    inscriptions on, 128-30
"         "    pectorals, 135-46
"       memorial, English, 17-18 cent., 368
"       penannular, xlii, xliii, 74-9
"       radiated, 63
"       Renaiss., 267
"       ring-brooch, xlii, xliv, xlv, 62, 127-34
"       Romano-British, 45-7
"       safety-pins, xli-xliii, 41
"       Scandinavian, 62
"       Scottish, 131-4
"       on sleeves, 267
"       17 cent., 298
"       18 cent., 309, 312
"       See also Fibulæ
Brosamer, Hans, 193, 198, 205, 250
"Brothers," "The Three Brothers," 209, 210, 300
Brueghel, Jan, 287
Bruges, 89, 114, 277
"     goldsmith's shop in, 15 cent., 155
"     port of, 15 cent., 167
Brunswick, Dorothea, Elizabeth, and Hedwig, Princesses of, 245
Brussels, Musée du Cinquantenaire, 106, 271
"       Alexander of, 208
Bruyn, Abraham de. See De Bruyn
"    Bartholomäus, 189
Bry, Theodor de, 195, 196, 219
Brythons, 39
Bucharest, Museum of Antiquities, 52
Buckingham, George Villiers, Duke of, 210, 230, 235, 300
Buckle, xlv, xlvi
"    design for, by Aldegrever, 194
"      "    "  "  de Bry, 196
"      "    "  "  Dürer, 191
"    -plate, xlvi, 159, 160
Buckles, Anglo-Saxon, 63
"     medl., 159-60
"     pinchbeck, 316
"     shoe, 18 cent., 321
"     steel, 315
"     stock, 18 cent., 322
"     Teutonic, 64
"     17 cent., 298
"     18 cent., 310, 312, 322
Buda-Pesth, National Museum, 112, 157, 198
Bugles, 10, 319
Bull, H. de. See De Bull
Bullæ, Etruscan, 24, 25
"       Roman, 29
Bulliot, J. G., 46 n.
Buonaparte, Caroline, Q. of Naples, 329
Burgh, Hebert de, 151
Burgkmair, H., 189
Burgundian Court, luxury of, 88-90
Burgundians (Gothic tribe), 50
Burgundy, Dukes of, 88-9, 114, 143
Bussy d'Amboise, 123 n.
"Butterflies," 316
Buttons, jet, Romano-British, 47
"     memorial, English 17-18 cent., 368
"     Renaiss., 267-8
"     steel, 315
"     18 cent., 319, 320
Byron, Lord, 331
Byzantine, cloisonné enamel, 66
"      influence on medl. jewellery, 83-5, 157
"      jewellery, 33-8
Byzantium, 33


C., A., 284
Cabalistic inscriptions on medl. rings, 152
Cabochon stones, 88, 96, 97
Cadboll brooches, 77
Cære, 25
Caillard, J., 282
Caillou d' Alençon, 343
"     du Rhin, 357
Cairngorms, 133
Cairo, Museum, 3, 5
Callot, J., 282
Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, 225
"      King's College, 115
Camden, W., 94
Cameos, antique, in medl. jewellery, 138
"    in bracelets, Renaiss., 264, 266
"    in bracelets, 18 cent., 320
"    Elizabethan, 217-18
"    medl. use of antique, 101-4
"    in mourning jewellery, 369
"    Renaiss., 226
"        "      enseignes, 227-8
"        "      pendants, 245-6
"    Roman, 30
"    19 cent., 326-31
Campbells of Glenlyon, 132
Canning, Lord, 249
Canosa, 70
Canterbury Cathedral, 108 n., 109
"        "      Chapel of St. Thomas à Becket, 140
Canterbury Tales, 161, etc.
Cappello, Bianca, 233, 350
Caracts, 132
Caract rings, 152
Caradosso, 168, 227
Caravel, or carvel, 246
Carberry Hill, 221
Carcan, 317
Carcanets, 114
"        Renaiss., 239
Carlyle, T., 318
Carmichael, Sir T. D. Gibson, 224
Caroto, G., 172
Carrand Collection. See Florence, Museo Nazionale
Carteron, S., 205
Cassel Gallery, 296
Cassolette, 275 n.
Castellani, 22, 346, 359
"      Alessandro, 333, 334
"      Augusto, 333, 334
"      Fortunato Pio, 333, 334
"      brooch, 70
Cast-iron jewellery, 19 cent., 330-1
Catherine Parr, Q. of England, 252
Caucasus, 50
Cavalcant, John, 208
Ceinture, 105, 159
"        ferrée, 161
Ceinturier, 270
Cellini, B., 21, 22, 169, 171, 179, 183-6, 192, 196, 197, 199, 201,
202, 208, 222, 227, 228, 241, 273, 278, 351
Celtic brooch, 74, 75-9, 131
"    jewellery, 11, 39
"    Period (late), 39, 43
Celts, 40
Cercles, 93, 105
"Cerro de los Santos," 9
Cervetri, 25
Cesarini, Gabriele, 228
Chains, ancient Irish, 43
"    Egyptian, 5
"    Phoenician, 9
"    neck, 19 cent., 331
Chains, worn round the neck. See also Necklaces and Neck-chains
Chalke, Agnes, 106
Chamberlain, John, 299
Chamillart, Mdme de, 314, 320
Chansons, 152
Chantilly, 168, 185
Chape of girdle, xlvi, 160, 271
Chapeau montabyn (montauban), 224, 231
Chapelet, 125
Chapeletz, 93, 105
Chaperon, 156, 229
Chaplets, medl., 105
Chardin, Sir John, 278, 305
Charity, figure of, on Renaiss. pendants, 244
Charlemagne, 55, 65, 83, 84, 118
Charles I, K. of England, 210, 219, 230, 288, 300, 304, 305, 354
"     I, K. of England, earrings of, 235, 354
"     I, K. of England, memorial jewellery of, 367
"     II, K. of England, 292, 305
"     V, K. of France, 88, 199
"       "      "      cameo of, 103, 130
"     VIII, K. of France, 199
"     IX    "      "      199, 200
"     the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, 107, 209, 231
"     the Great, Emperor of the West. See Charlemagne
Charlotte, Q. of England, 313, 317
Charms, 99-104, 111-120
Chartres, Treasury of, 103
Châteaubriand, Countess of, 181
Chatelaines, xlvii
"      Anglo-Saxon, 63
"      medl., 161
"      pinchbeck, 316
"      17 cent., 298
"      18 cent., 310, 312, 313, 322, 323
Chaton, xlv
Chaucer, 93, 94, 109, 129, 130 n., 164
Chelsea, ring found at, 73
Chepstow, Monmouthshire, 46
Chéron, 314
Chiflet, J. J., 53
Child, Sir Francis, 305, 306
Child's Bank, 306
Childeric I, K. of the Franks, 51, 52, 53
"    "  ring of, 63
Chlotaire II, K. of the Franks, 59
Christian V, K. of Denmark, 238
Christianity, introduction of, change in jewellery owing to, 65, 66
"      introduction of into Ireland, 75
Christie's Auction Rooms, 247, 256
Christina, Q. of Sweden, 284
Christopher, St., 142
Christus, Petrus, 155, 222, 263
Ciampoli, Carlo, 309, 317
Cingulum, 163
Circlets, xxxix
"    medl., 106
Clanricarde, Marquess of, 249
Clarendon brooch, 78
Clasps, xl
"    of girdle, xlv, xlvii
"        "      medl., 160, 163
"    of mantle, medl., 140, 141
"    17 cent., 298
"    18 cent., 310, 312
Clifford, Lord, 354
Cloth of Gold, Field of, 207, 237
Cloisonné enamel. See Enamel
"    inlay, 3, 35, 50, 56
Coats-of-arms on rings, 31, 153
Cobra snake, 2
Coello, A. S., 294
Coiffure, Phoenician, 9
"    See also Head-ornaments
Coins in Anglo-Saxon jewellery, 59
"  in Byzantine jewellery, 36
"  in Roman jewellery, 30, 32
Colbert, J. B., 282
Collar, gold, ancient Irish, 43
"    of Order of Golden Fleece, 90
"    of Lord Mayor of London, 117
"    SS collar, 116-17
Collars, Egyptian, 5
"    medl., 113-117
"    See also Necklaces
Collaert, H., 194, 196, 197, 234, 247
Collet, xlv
Collier of Marie Antoinette, 318
Cologne Cathedral, 111, 145
Cologne, Episcopal museum, 145
"     Wallraf-Richartz museum, 145
Columban, 66
Combs, Empire, 19 cent., 328
"    jewelled, medl., 107
"    19 cent., 329
Comines, Philip de, 109, 110
Commonwealth, England, 305
Compostella, 109
"      shrine of St. James, 91
Conques, 102, 137
"     Treasury, 112, 137
Consolavera, J. B. de, 208
Constantine, 33, 226
Constantinople, 33, 34, 49
"        foundation of, 33
"        sack of, 38
Coral, in Dutch peasant jewellery, 345
"    medl. use of, 123
"    19 cent., 328
Corbeil, Our Lady of, 137
Corbizi, Litti di Filippo, 175
Cornaro, Catarina, 264
Cornette, 107
Cornish diamonds, 357
Coronals, Italy, 15 cent., 169
"    medl., 106
"    round hat, 224
Coronets, 106 n.
"       medl., 106
"       19 cent., 328
Corsage, jewelled, 308
Cosse de pois ornament, 281, 293, 297
Costantini, G. B., 284
Côtehardi, 267
Coulant, 342, 345
Counterfeit, 355
"      stones sold to Henry VIII, 208
Courroye, 270
Coventry, St. Mary's Hall, 115
"       ring, 150
Cramp, rings worn against, 152
Cranach, Lucas, 189, 238, 250, 259, 261, 264
Crapaudine, 151
Crete, 8
Crimea, 9, 12, 14, 50
Crivelli, Carlo, 167
"       Lucrezia, 172
Cromwell, Oliver, 293, 294, 305
"       Thomas, 208, 213
Crosby, Sir John, 115
Cross, pendent, Byzantine, 36
"      "    medl., 118
"      "    peasant, 342
"      "    Renaiss., 242-3
"    the True, relics of, 118
"    Visigothic (Guarrazar), 54
Crotalia, 28
Crown, Alfred Jewel, as ornament of a, 69
"    of Thorns, relic of, 118, 119
Crowns, xxxix, 106
"    Byzantine, 35
"    Greek, 17
"    Mycenæan, 11
"    Scandinavian peasant, 346
"    Visigothic, 53, 54
Croy, Celtic brooch from, 77
Crusaders, 34
Crusades, influence on jewellery, 101
"       jewellery brought back from, 84, 93
Cryspyn, John, 208
Crystal, 313, 342, 343, 347, 356, 357
"      of Lothair, 139
Cuir bouilli, 97
Cunynghame, H. H., 35, 86, 339
Cupreous glaze, 2
Cuthbert, St., 68
Cyprus, 8, 10, 12, 21


D., A., 285
Dagobert, K. of the Franks, 155, 222
Dalton, O. M., 34 n, 51 n.
Dance of Death, 363
Danes, invasion of, 68
Danube, Irish missionaries on, 67
"    valley, enamel-work, 198
Dark Ages, 51
Darnley, Henry, 217
"     jewel, 217, 257
Dartrey, Earl of, 288
Dashûr, 5
Dauffe, 319
Dauphin, badge of, 110
Davenport, C. J. H. (quoted), 71
David, Gerard, 140, 155, 263
"    J. L.,  326, 329
Davies, G. S. (quoted), 351, 352
Davillier, Baron C., 202, 249
Davy, William, 208
Dawson, Nelson, 339
Death's head, 364-7
De Boot, A., 100
Debruge-Duménil collection, 130, 245
De Bruyn, Abraham, 197
De Bull, H., 284
Defontaine, J., 282
De Heem, Jan, 287
De Heere, Lucas, 252, 352
De la Quewellerie. See La Quewellerie
Delaune, Etienne, 197, 201, 272
De Leeuw, John, 155
Demi-ceint, or demysent, 164
Desborough (Northants), 74
Devant de corsage, 318
Devices, 223
"     on Elizabethan jewellery, 216-7
"     Renaiss., sewn to garments, 268
Devise, 223, 365
Dextrocherium, 30
Diadems, xxxix
"     Byzantine, 34
"     Egyptian, 3
"     Etruscan, 23
"     Greek, 16, 17
"     medl., 106
"       "    English, 93
"     Phoenician, 9
"     Roman, 28
"     19 cent., 328
Diamant d' Alençon, 343
Diamond, 276-9
"     of Charles the Bold, 209
"     earrings of Marie Antoinette, 317
"     necklace of Marie Antoinette, 318
Diamonds, the brilliant, 279
"       Bristol, 235, 259 and n.
"       cutting of, 230, 277-9
"       false, 235, 313, 314, 357
"       in pictures, 351
"       the "point," 277, 278
"       pointed, in rings, 260
"       in Renaiss. jewellery, 179
"       in rings, 17 cent., 296
"       rose cut, 282, 310
"         "      in Flemish peasant jewellery, 345
"       "roses," 278-9
"       "table," 278-9
"       taille en seize279
"       use of, in early jewellery, 277
"       in 18 cent. jewellery, 308, 319
Dickens, Charles (quoted), 369
Dietrich, 339
Dinanderie, 112 n.
Dinglinger, George Friedrich, 310
"      Johann Melchior, 310
"        "        "    (junior), 311
Dinteville, Jean de, 365
Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 20
Dionysos, 24
Diptychs, pendent, medl., 119-20
Directory, 325-6
Discs of gold. See Plates of gold
Dog (Talbot), on Renaiss. pendants, 249
"Dombild," 145
Dorchester House. See London
Douce, Francis, 53, 264
Douglas, Lady Margaret, 217
Douffet, Gerard, 296
Dove, symbol of Holy Ghost, 249
"  in peasant jewellery, 343
Dowgate Hill brooch, 69
Dragon, Renaiss. pendant in form of, 249
Drake, Sir Francis, 253, 266, 354
"    Sir F. Fuller-Eliott, 218, 230 n., 253
"    jewels, 218, 230 n., 353
Drawings for jewellery by Barcelona goldsmiths, 202
Drawings for jewellery by Sir F. Child, 306
"          "      by Dürer, 190
"          "      by Holbein, 210-213
"          "      by Lulls, 302
"          "      by Mielich, 195
"          "      by the Santini family, 308
Drury Fortnum. See Fortnum
Dresden, Picture Gallery, 261
"      Grüne Gewölbe, 251, 311
Dress, ornaments sewn on, ancient Irish, 43
"        "      "      Renaiss., 268
Dress-fasteners, prehistoric, xliii
"              "      ancient British, 41
Dressche, Reinecke van, 139
Du Barry, Madame, 317
Du Bellay, G., 207
Dublin, Irish National Museum, 42, 44, 77, 78
"    National Gallery of Ireland, 250
"    Royal Irish Academy, 42, 78
"    Trinity College, 78
Dubois, Paul, 339
Ducerceau. See Androuet Ducerceau
Duflos, August, 312, 317
Du Fresnoy, C. A., 353
Dunstan, St., 67
Dürer, A., 185, 187, 190, 191, 250
Du Suau de la Croix, Comte, 338
Duvet, Jean, 200

"Eagle Fibula," 135
Eagle stones, 122
Eanred, 72
Earle, J., 69
Ear-picks, Renaiss., 250-1
Earrings, xxxix, xl
"       Anglo Saxon, 58
"       ancient British, 40
"       Byzantine, 35, 37
"           "      in Middle Ages, 112
"       Egyptian, 4
"       English, 16-17 cent., 234-5
"       Etruscan, 23
"       Frankish, 58
"       Greek, 15, 16
"       medl., 112, 113
"         "    English, 92
"       worn by men, 234-5, 332
"       Merovingian, 58
"       Phoenician, 9
"       Renaiss., 233-5
"       Roman, 28-9
"       17 cent., 291
"       18  "    309, 317
"       19  "    328
East Anglia, 60
Edict of Nantes, 305
Edinburgh, High Street, 133
"      St. Giles' Church, 133
"      National Museum of Antiquities, 77, 132, 150, 165
Edmer, 92
Edward the Confessor, K. of England, 92, 102, 118
"    I, K. of England, 67, 92
"    II      "        93, 162
"    III    "        93, 121, 161, 162
"    IV      "        115, 116
"    VI      "        218, 219
"    "      "        Prayer Book of, 274
"    VII    "        217, 224
Effigies, sepulchral, jewellery on, 82
Eglentine, Prioress, jewel worn by, 129
Egyptian jewellery, 1-7, 49
Elché, "Lady of," 9, 10
Electrum, primitive Italy, 24
Elenchi, 28
Eligius, St. See Eloy
Elizabeth, Q. of Bohemia, 301
"        "  England, 213-20, 232, 234, 237, 239, 251-256,
265, 267, 269, 273, 301
"      Gonzaga, Duchess of Urbino, 172
Eloy, or Eloi, St., 67, 155
Emeralds, Spanish, 205
Empire jewellery, 326
Enamel, 49
"    Battersea, 320
"    basse-taille, 87, 97, 138
"    Bilston, 320
"    Byzantine, 35
"    Celtic, 41
"    champlevé, English, 16 cent., 211
"        "      medl., 85, 138
"        "      Romano-British, 45
"        "      on rings, 17 cent., 295
"        "      Spanish, 17 cent., 204
"        "      16-17 cent., 283 etc.
"        "      17 cent., 292
"    cloisonné, 70, 136, 283
"        "      Anglo-Saxon, 66, 68
"        "      Byzantine, 35, 36
"        "      medl., 84
"        "      Tara brooch, 66, 78
"    Egyptian, 3
"    émail en blanc, 87
"    émail en résille sur verre, 273, 293, 296
"    émail en ronde bosse, 87, 225
"    English 16 cent., 216
"        "    18  "    313
"    "filigree enamel," (Draht-Email), 198, 347
"    French, 18 cent., 311, 312
"    Gallo-Roman, 46
"    "gold wire," 224
"    Greek, 13, 15, 17
"    Hispano-Moresque, 205
"    Irish, 66, 78
"    Limoges, medl., 86
"        "    Renaiss. for enseignes, 229
"    "Louis Treize," 286, 289, 293
"    medl., 84-88
"    opaque, French, 16 cent., 199, 200
"    painted, 346, 347
"        "    on peasant jewellery, 344, 347
"        "    17 cent., 285, 292, 293, 295
"    Renaiss., 180
"    Romano-British, 45
"    Toutin firing an, 285, 289
"    transluscent, 17 cent., 283
"          "        18  "    312
"          "        See Basse-taille
"    white, émail en blanc, 87
"    17 cent., general, 283, 298
"        "      on watches, 297
"    18 cent., 312
"    19 cent., revival of, 337
England, medl. jewellery, 91-98
"     16 cent. jewellery, 206-221
"     17  "      "      299-306
"     18  "      "      310
Engraved designs for jewellery, English, 18 cent., 310, 312
Engraved designs for jewellery, French, 16 cent., 200, 201
Engraved designs for jewellery, Flemish, 16 cent., 196, 197
Engraved designs for jewellery, German, 16 cent., 186-7, 191-4
Engraved designs for jewellery, 17 cent., 280-9, 291-8
Engraved designs for jewellery, 18 cent., 308-10, 312, 320
Engraved gems, antique, in medl. jewellery, 148, 153, 154
"    "    medl. use of, 101-4
"    "    in rings, Romano-British, 47
"    "    16 cent., 227, 245
"    "    19 cent., 326, 327
Enkomi, Cyprus, 12
Enseignes, 156, 169
"      medl., 107-111, 146
"      Renaiss., 222-230, 267
"      with skulls, 364, 365
"Equipage," 323
Erasmus, D., 109
Eros, 15, 16
Escarcelle, 165
"Esclavo," 204
Escoffion, 107, 156
Esguillettes, 269
Espreuves, 123
Essen, Treasury of, 143
"    medl. brooches at, 143-145
Essence d'orient, 358
Estampes, Duchess of, 181
Este, Beatrice d', Duchess of Milan. See Beatrice
"    Isabella d', Marchioness of Mantua. See Isabella
Estrennes, 153, 213
Ethelbert, K. of Kent, 65
Ethelswith, 71
"      ring of, 72
Ethelwulf, K. of Wessex, 71
"       ring of, 72
Ethred, 72
Eton College, 115
Etruscan goldsmiths, 8
"    jewellery, 20-26, 333
Étuis, Eng., 18 cent., 309, 310, 323
"    pinchbeck, 316
"    Renaiss.,  272
Eudel, P., 360, 362
Euphues, 273
Eustachio, Fra, 175
Evans, A. J., 43
"    Sir J., 47, 62, 296
Evelyn, John, 298, 299, 367
Evil Eye, 164, 250
"Exeter Book," 57
Exmewe, Thomas, 208
Ex voto, 136
Eyck, van, 106
"    John van, 90, 155
Eyelets, Renaiss., 268
Eymaker, 310

Façon d'Angleterre, 162
Fahrner, T., 339
Faience, Egyptian, 2, 7
Falize, Lucien, 335
Falkland, Viscount, 295
Fane, Sir S. Ponsonby, 322
Fans, Renaiss., suspended to girdles, 272
Fashion, influence on jewellery, 28, 80, 178, 370
Fausse montre, 324
Faversham, 57
Fay, J. B., 312, 317
Feathers, jewelled, as aigrettes, 17 cent., 231
Feather jewel for hats, English, 17 cent., 300
Fedeli, Ercole, 158
Feder, von, 190
Federigo of Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, 171
"Felicini" altar-piece, 170
Felicini, Bartolomeo, 170
Felspar, green, 3
Fenwolf, Morgan, 208
Ferdinand of Tirol, Archduke, 188
Ferenzuola, Giovanni da, 185
Fermail, 93, 128, 131, 137, 141
Fermailleurs, 131
Ferronnière, 172, 328
Fessey, J., 310
Fibulæ, xlii, xliii, 127
"    Anglo-Saxon, 59, 127
"    Byzantine, 34
"    Etruscan, 24
"    Roman, xlii
"    Romano-British, xlii, 46
"    "spectacle," xlii
"    See also Brooches
Field of Cloth of Gold, 207, 237
Filigree, 19
"       Byzantine, 35
"           "    influence in Europe, 35
"       Etruscan, 24
"       gold, in Portuguese jewellery, 347
"       gold, in 17 cent. memorial jewellery, 368
"       Greek, 13, 16
"       in Jewish wedding rings, 262
"       silver, in German peasant jewellery, 346
Fillets, xxxix
"     Etruscan, 23
"     medl., 105
"     Phoenician, 9
"     Roman, 28
Finger rings. See Rings
Finger-ring Lore, 296
Finiguerra, Tommaso (Maso), 168
Firens, P., 293
Firmacula, 92, 138
Fisher, Alexander, 339
Fitzhardinge, Lord, 73, 274
Flach, Thomas, 310
Flanders, influence of, in 15 cent., 142
Fleece, Golden, 24
"      "    Order of, 90
Flemish-Burgundian jewellery, 143-6, 213
Flemish brooches, 15 cent., 146
"     paintings, jewellery in, 89-90
"     peasant jewellery, 345
"     Renaiss.    "      196, 197
Fleurs-de-lis, 93, 106
Florence, 167
"       Bargello. See Museo Nazionale
"       Cathedral, 175
"       Museo Nazionale (Bargello), 130
"       Museo Nazionale (Bargello), Carrand collection, 145
"       Pitti Gallery, 170, 233, 294
"       Spedale di Santa Maria Nuova, 114
"       Uffizi Gallery, 114, 117, 144, 168, 172, 264, 286, 294
"       Uffizi Gallery, Galleria delle Gemme, 228 n.
"       15 cent. jewellery, 174
Flötner, Peter, 193
Flower, pendant called, 210, 217
Flowers, natural, designs in jewellery, 283, 285-9
Fob-pocket, 298, 323, 324, 332
Foil, gold, Anglo-Saxon, 60
Foils for precious stones, 60-63, 180, 260, 351, 355, 356
Fontenay, E., 4, 48, 72, 320, 335
Fontevraud, 141
Foppa Ambrogio, called Caradosso, 168
Forgeries, 313, 355-62
Fornarina, 233
Fortnum collection. See Oxford, Ashmolean Museum
Foulc, E., 263
Fouquet, Georges, 338
Foy, René, 338
Foy, St., 112, 136, 137
Foyle, Lough, 43
France, barbaric jewellery, 56
"    medl. jewellery, 88
"    peasant jewellery, 342, 343
"    Renaiss. jewellery, 199-201
"    17 cent. jewellery, 276
"    18  "      "      309
"    19  "      "      325
Francesca, Piero della, 171
Francia, F., 169, 170, 210
Francis I, K. of France, 172, 181, 199, 200, 208, 227
Frankfort-on-the-Main, 195
"            Rothschild collection, 197
"            Städel Institute, 233
Franks, the, 56
Franks, Sir A. W., 72, 185
"          "    See also London, British Museum, Franks Bequest
Frauds, 355-62
Freeman, John, 208
Friessler, L., 339
Fritillaries, painted on enamel, 287
Froment-Meurice, 331
Frontlets, Egyptian, 3
"      Greek, 16
"      19 cent., 328
Fruit-shaped pendants, medl., 125
Frye, Thomas, 317
Fugger family, 188
"    Jacob, 210
Fuller-Eliott-Drake. See Drake
Fuseli, H., 312


Gaillard, Lucien, 338
Gallo-Roman jewellery, 46
Garlande, Jean de, 131
Garnets, in Anglo-Saxon jewellery, 57, 58, 60, 61, 63, 67
"     in barbaric jewellery, 49, 53
"     in mourning jewellery, 370
"     in Swiss peasant jewellery, 346
Garter, Order of, 254
"        "      pendent "George" of, 302
Gaudees (gauds), 124, 125
Gaskin, Arthur, 339
Gaul, 50
"    invasion of by Teutonic races, 56
Gaveston, Piers, 67, 93
Geiss, 330
Gems, engraved, antique, in medl. jewellery, 148, 153, 154
"      "      in enseignes, 16 cent., 227
"      "      in girdles, 271
"      "      in pendants, 16 cent., 245
"      "      in pendants, 17 cent., 291, 292
"      "      19 cent., 326-31
"    sewn on dress, Byzantine, 34
"    See also Engraved gems
George, St., enseigne of, 224, 225
"George," of the Order of Garter, 302
George III, K. of England, 313
Genista, 110
Gérard, F., Baron, 329
Gerini, Casa, 350
Germanic tribes, 50
Germany, peasant jewellery, 346
"     16 cent., jewellery, 187-96
"     17 cent., jewellery, 276
Gheeraerts, Marc, 352
Ghemert, H., van, 284
Ghent, 89
"    altar piece by the Van Eycks, at, 106
Ghiberti, Lorenzo, 168, 210
Ghirlandaio, Domenico del, 169, 170, 210, 263
"      Ridolfo del, 170
Ghirlande, 169
Gibbons, Grinling, 287
Gibbs Bequest. See London, British Museum
Gigates, 47
Giovio, Paolo, 260
Gipcière, 165
"      beams, 165
Giraldus Cambrensis, 109
Girandole, 317, 318
Girdle, medl., in picture, 156
"    -buckle, xlv, xlvi, 159, 160
"        "    design by Aldegrever, 194
"        "        "    de Bry, 196
"        "        "    Dürer, 190
"    -buckles, 18 cent., 322
"    -hangers, Anglo-Saxon, 63
Girdlers' Company of London. See London
Girdles, xlv, xlvi
"     Anglo-Saxon, 63
"     Greek, 18
"     medl., 159-65
"       "    England, 93, 94
"     Renaiss., 270-2
"     17 cent., 296-7
"     19 cent., 329
Giuliano, Carlo, 22, 334, 359
Giustinian, S., 206
Glass, armlets, Romano-British, 47
"    beads, Phoenician, 10
"      "    Roman, 29
"      "    Romano-British, 45
"    diamond rings for writing on, 260
"    Egyptian, 3, 6
"    millefiori, in Anglo-Saxon jewellery, 59
"    millefiori, in Romano-British jewellery, 46
"    painted, in jewellery, "verre églomisé," 203-4
"    paste, 1, 49, 52
Glastonbury, 67
Glenlyon brooch, 111, 132
Glockendon missal, 175
Glomy, 203
Glossopetræ, 122, 123, 156
Gloves, rings worn over, 149, 259
"    slashing of, 259, 265
Gmünd, 339
Gnadenmedaillen, 248
Gnauth, 339
Gnostics, 101
Godberta, St., 155, 263
Godstow Priory ring, 150
Golconda, 278, 351
Gold, coloured, 311, 328
"    imitation, 358, 359
Golden Fleece, 14
"      "    collar of, 90
"    Hind, 253
"Goldshine," 316
Goldsmiths of Paris, medl., 134
"      Company of London. See London
"      workshops, interiors of, 98, 155, 156, 158, 176, 201
Gondola, pendent jewel, in form of, 197, 247
Gonzaga, Elizabeth, Duchess of Urbino. See Elizabeth
Gorget, from Petrossa, 52
Gorgets, ancient Irish, 42
Göss, 339
Gothic ornament, appearance of, 86
"    nations, 49, 50
"    revival, 19 cent., 331
"    style, 19 cent., 332
Græco-Phoenician jewellery, 8
Graff, C., 339
Grains de chapelet, 125
Granulated gold, 327, 333
Granulation, Byzantine, 35
"  Etruscan, 21, 24
"  Greek, 12, 13
"  Phoenician, 8
Granson, battle of, 210
Greek jewellery, 8, 11-19
"  Islands, peasant jewellery, 246, 346
Green, J. R. (quoted), 66
Gregory XVI, Pope, 22
Gresham, Sir T., 237
Grey, Lady Jane, 254
Gribelin, Simon, 310
Grien, Hans Baldung, 189, 261
Grimani Breviary, 175
Grondoni, G. B., 309, 310
Guarrazar, 50, 53
Guay, J., 320
Guien, J., 310, 317
Guilds, goldsmiths', 134
"        "        rules against forgery, 356, 358, 359
Guilloché gold, 312
Gurschner, G., 339
Gypcière, 94


Habsburg, family, 294
Hadaway, Mrs., 339
Hailler, D., 284
Hair, jewellery of, 368-70
"      "    19 cent., 331
"    ornaments for the, medl., 114
"        "        "    Renaiss., 223
"        "        "    17 cent., 291
"        "        "    18  "    316
Hair-pins, xl, xli
"      Anglo-Saxon, 57
"      Etruscan, 23
"      German peasant, 346
"      Greek, 17
"      Renaiss., 232-3
"      Roman, 28
"      Romano-British, 45
"      18 cent., 316
"      19  "    328
Hall, Bishop, 259
"    Edward, 207, 211, 224
Hals, Agnes, 366
"    Frans, 296, 362
Hamilton brooch, 70
"    Palace collection, 303
Hammer, 339
Hampton Court Gallery, 245
Hanau, 339
Hannibal, 32
Hans of Antwerp, 208, 213
Harlay, family, 266
Haroun al-Raschid, 84, 118
Harrogate diamonds, 357
Harvey, Gabriel, 261
Hastings, Lord, 46
Hat-badges. See Enseignes
"  bands, jewelled, 224, 230
"  ornaments, medl., 109
Hats, jewelled, medl., 107
"    jewels on, English, 17 cent., 300, 301
"    rings worn on, 261
Hauer, J. P., 287
Hauptmann, Franz, 339
Hays, Cornelius, 208
Head-appendages, Greek, 16
"  dresses, Roman, 28
"  ornaments, xxxix
"      "      Dutch, 344
"      "      ancient Irish, 42
"      "      Italian, 15 cent., 171, 172
"      "      medl., 105-12
"      "      Renaiss., 232
"      "      18 cent., 316
"      "      19  "    328
Hearts, peasant jewels in form of, 342-5
Hecke, van den. See Van den Hecke
Heel, Johann, 309
Heeley, 319
Heem, Jan de. See De Heem
Hefner-Alteneck, J. H. von, 195
Hendrickje Stoffels, 191
Henin, 107
Henlein, Peter, 274
Henrietta Maria, Q. of England, earrings of, 354
Henry I, K. of England, 92
"  II      "        141
"  III    "        92, 141, 151
"  IV      "        95, 115, 116, 140, 142, 162, 164
"  V      "        95, 110
"  VI      "        115
"  VII    "        216, 219
"  VIII    "        199, 206-13, 219, 224, 225, 226, 237, 238,
250, 252, 258, 263, 265, 267, 268, 269
"  II,  K. of France, 200, 365
"  III      "        200, 234
"  IV        "        314, 320
"  K. of Castile, 109
"  Prince of Wales, son of James I, 302-3
Hentzner, Paul, 214
Hera, 19
Herbals, precious stones in, 100 n.
Heraclius, Emperor, 59
Herbst, J. B., 310
Herculaneum, 29
"      discovery of, 311
Herculean knot, rings shaped like, 32
Heriot, George, 268, 273, 300, 301, 304
"    James, 210, 304
Heriot's Hospital, 301
Hermitage Museum. See St. Petersburg
Herodotus, 363
Herrick, Nicolas, 220
"     Robert, 220, 302
"     Sir William, 220, 301, 302
Heyl, Baron von, 136
Highland brooches, 131-3
Hilary, St., 104
"      "  jewel of, 103, 136
Hilliard, Nicholas, 219, 253, 255
Hipkins, W. and Co., 315
Hirzel, H. R. C., 338
Hispano-Moresque jewellery, 205
Hissarlik, 9
Holbein, Hans, the younger, 190, 210-13, 224, 243, 252,
273, 351, 352, 363, 365
Holford, Major, 288
Holinshed, R., 207, 235
Holland, peasant jewellery, 344-5
Hollar, W., 190, 275
Holtzendorff treasure, 267
"      family, 238
Holy Land, jewellery brought back from, 84, 86
Holyrood, 115
Homer, 19
Honervogt, J., 282
Honyson, Guillim, 208
Hooks and loops, medl., 140
"    "  eyes, Renaiss., 268
Hoop (of ring), xlv
Hornick, Erasmus, 193, 194, 251
Horus, 2
Huaud or Huault, 298
Hungary, 16 cent. jewellery, 197-8
"     peasant jewellery, 347
Hunsdon, George Carey, Lord, 218, 265
"     Henry Carey, Lord, 218, 253, 274
"     jewels, 93, 218, 253, 274
Hunterston brooch, 79
Hurtu, J., 285
Hyderabad, 278


Ialysos, 12
Iconoclastic decrees, 34
Iklyngton Coler, 115
Ilchester, Earl of, 366
Il Rosso. See Rosso
Impresa, 223
Imitation diamonds, 313-14
"    gold, 358, 359
"    pearls, 314
"    precious stones, 18 cent., 313
Imitations, 355-62
Incrustation (or inlay), process of, 49-55
Initials, jewelled, Renaiss., on garments, 268
"       jewels in form of, 211-12
"       pendants in form of, Renaiss., 248
Inlaid jewellery, 35, 49-55
"        "      Anglo-Saxon, 60
Innocent III, Pope, 96, 148
Intaglio cutting on gold, Greek, 13
"     medl., 138
Intaglios, antique, in medl. jewellery, 102
"      Renaiss., 227
"      Roman, 30
"      19 cent., 326
Inventories, jewellery in, 82, 88-9, 92-6, 142, 215, 258, 263, 353
Ionia, 22
Ipsamboul (Abu Simbel), 4
Ireland, cloisonné enamel, 66
"     introduction of Christianity into, 75
"     prehistoric ornaments in, 40-4
Irish missionaries, their influence on Anglo-Saxon jewellery, 66, 67
Iron jewellery, 19 cent., 330, 331
"  prehistoric, 39
Isabella d'Este, Marchioness of Mantua, 158
"     of France, Q. of England, 114
Italian jewellery, 15 cent., 166-76
"         "      16  "    183-6
"     peasant jewellery, 334, 346


Jacobson, Philip, 302, 304
James I, K. of England, 210, 230, 231, 235, 238, 257, 268, 299, 300-4
"  II      "        119
"  St., of Compostella, 109
Jane Seymour, Q. of England, 212
Janssens, C., 352
Jaquin, 314
Jet jewellery, 48
"  medl., 124
"  mourning jewellery, 370
"  Romano-British, 45, 47
Jewish wedding rings. See Rings
"Jingling Geordie," 301
Joaillerie, 277
Joailliers-faussetiers, corporation of, 314
Joanna of Navarre, Q. of England, 141
Jocalia, 92, 138
John Anwarpe. See Hans of Antwerp
"  of Cambridge, 106
"  the Constant, Elector of Saxony, 261
"  Frederick, Elector of Saxony, 261
"  of Leyden, 250
"  St., Baptist, head of, 226, 227 n.
"    "  Evangelist, 36, 99, 103
"  King of England, 92, 96
"  II, King of France, 88
Jones, W., 296
Jonson, Ben, 151
Jörg, A., 284
Josephine, Empress, 29, 329-30
Juliers, William, Duke of. See William
Jupiter, cameo of, considered to represent St. John, 103
"     Capitolinus, temple of, 32
Justinian, Emperor, 33, 34
Jutes, 56, 59


K., P. R., 280, 284
Kameiros, 12
Kann collection, 169
Karlsruhe, 190
Kaufmann collection, 263
Kayle, Hugh, 220
Kensington (South) Museum. See London, Victoria and Albert Museum
Kent, 60
Kentish cemeteries, 56, 57, 63
Kertch, 14, 16
"    forged jewels, said to come from, 360
Kh[=a]-em-uas, 5
Khepera, 2
Kilbride, West, 79
Kilmainham brooch, 77
Kimmeridge shale, 47
King, C. W. (quoted), 100
Kings of the East, Three, 102, 111, 129, 132, 150, 152
Kingston brooch, 60
"     -on-Thames, 142
Klein-Meister, 191-4
Kneller, Sir G., 353
Knives, Renaiss., suspended to girdles, 272
Knotwork, in Anglo-Saxon jewellery, 57
Koul-Oba, 14
Kraft, Adam, 120
Kreuterbuch, 100 n., 126


Labarre, P., 282
Laborde, L. de, 277
Laffitte, Gaston, 338
Lalique, René, 338
Lang, Andrew, 221, 353
Lange, Jehan, 208, 209
Latten, 161
La Quewellerie, G. de, 284, 295
Lannoy, Baldwin de, 90
"    Raoul de, 116
Lapis-lazuli, 2, 136
Lark Hill, near Worcester, 154
Latium, 24
Laton, 161
Lauingen, 230, 232
Laverstoke, 72
Law, Thomas and Co., 315
"Lazos," 204, 294
Lead, medl. jewels of, 108-10, 131, 161
"    models for jewellery, 192-3
Leblanc, 316
Le Blon, M., 284, 304
"Leda and the Swan," by Cellini, 185, 228
Ledyard, Adam, 124
Lefebure, F., 282, 291
Lefèvre, R., 329
Légaré, Gédéon, 282, 287
"    Gilles, 279, 282, 287-9, 291, 293, 294, 296, 298, 366
Leicester, Robert Dudley, Earl of, 239, 274
Leland, J., 207
Lely, Sir P., 353
Leman, Baptist, 208
Le Mans, xliii, 128
Lemersier, B., 282
Lempereur, 312, 318
Lennox, Henry Stuart, Earl of, 217
"    jewel, 217, 257
Lenton, F., 235, 357
Leo III, Emperor, 34
Leonardus, C., 100, 101
Leopold, J. F., 309
Letelen, Albert von, 139
Letters, jewels in form of, 211
"     pendants in form of, Renaiss., 248
Leven and Melville, Earl of, 221, 353
Leyden, John of, 250
Liberale di Giacomo da Verona, 175
Liberation, German War of, 330
Liberty, A. Lazenby, 339
Lichtwark, A., 193
Limoges enamel, medl., 86
"     enamelled enseignes made at, 229
Limavady treasure, 43
Lion's head on Egyptian jewellery, 5
"      Phoenician jewellery, 9
Lions on archaic Greek jewellery, 12
Lipona, Countess, 16
Lippmann, F., 190
Lisbon, Museum of Fine Arts, 347
Linas, C. de, 52 n.
"Little masters" (Kleinmeister), 191-6
Liverpool, Mayer collection, 60
Lively, 110, 116-7
Livre de Taille d'Épargne, 309
Llewellyn, 152
Llys-fæn, Carnarvonshire, 71
Loch Buy brooch, 133
Lochner, Stephan, 145
Lockets, memorial, Eng., 17-18 cent., 368
"     17 cent., 293
Lombard Street, 115
Lombards (Gothic tribe), 50
Lombardy, peasant jewellery, 346
London, British Museum, 3, 4, 8-10, 12, 17, 23-8, 34, 37, 44, 46, 51,
60, 63, 69, 72, 74, 76, 108, 119, 122, 129, 132,
133, 138, 190, 211, 273, 297
"    British Museum, Franks Bequest, 37, 110, 145, 148, 246, 264, 368
"    British Museum, Gibbs Bequest, 57, 62, 63
"    British Museum, Waddesdon Bequest, 125, 184, 226, 231,
248, 272, 303, 366
"    British Museum, Sloane collection, 218, 255
"    British Museum, Gold Ornament Room, 154, 292
"    British Museum, Carlisle collection, 246
"    British Museum, Room of Greek and Roman Life, 23
"    Cuming Museum, Walworth Road, 361 n.
"    Dorchester House, 225, 288
"    Girdlers' Company, 161, 272
"    Goldsmiths' Company, 131, 213
"    Guildhall Museum, 108, 165
"    National Gallery, 140, 171, 174, 238, 259, 264, 365
"    National Portrait Gallery, 141 n., 212, 222, 235, 254
"    Royal Academy, 312, 313
"    St. Helen's Church, Bishopsgate, 115
"    St. Paul's Cathedral, 115, 138
"    South Kensington Museum Jewellery Exhibition, 1872, 241
"    South Kensington Museum. See London, Victoria and Albert Museum
"    Temple Church, 128
"    Tower, 300
"    Victoria and Albert Museum, 31, 36, 51, 72, 73, 120, 122, 129,
130, 138, 139, 163, 203, 218, 226,
231, 246, 248, 249, 254, 257, 266,
272, 273, 294, 296, 321, 334, 347,
356, 365, 369
"    Victoria and Albert Museum, Art Library, 308, 344
"    Victoria and Albert Museum, Dyce collection, 293
"    Victoria and Albert Museum, Jones collection, 293
"    Victoria and Albert Museum, Waterton collection, 149, 264
"    Wallace collection, 226, 272, 296, 297
Londesborough collection, 129, 264
Loops (clasps), medl., 140
"          Renaiss., 268
Lord Mayor of London, collar of, 117
Loreto, Santa Casa, 91
Lorn, brooch of, 133
Lothair II, K. of the Franks, 139
Lotto, Lorenzo, 263
Lotus flower, 4
Louis IX, St., K. of France, 119
"  XI, K. of France, 109, 110, 116
"  XII      "        199
"  XIII    "        279, 286, 292
"  XIV      "        266, 279, 282, 293
"  XV      "        311, 320
"  XVI      "        311, 323
Louise Augusta, of Schleswig-Holstein, Princess, 339
Luckenbooth brooches, 133-4, 165
Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, 168, 172
Ludwig I, K. of Bavaria, 16
Lulls, Arnold, 231, 302, 304
Lunulæ, 42
Luthmer, F., xxxiv, 82, 135, 197, 240, 339, 352
Lyly, J., 217, 273
Lyons, 277
Lyte jewel, 257, 293, 303, 304, 354
"  Sir H. Maxwell, 304
"  Thomas, 303, 304, 354


Mabell, 269
Mabuse, 261, 351
Macdougals of Lorn, 133
Macleans of Loch Buy, 133
Macneals of Firfergus, 133
Macquoid, Mrs. Percy, 120
Madrid, Royal Armoury, 53
"    Museum of Antiquities, 9
Mænad, 15
Magi. See Kings of the East
Magna Græcia, 14, 17, 18
Magnussen, E., 339
Mainz, 135-7
Mainz Cathedral, 137
"      "      Treasury, 137
"  Museum, 136
Maîtres ornemanistes, 246
Malone, E., 123 n.
Mammillary fibulæ, xliii, 42
Mantle clasps, medl., 140, 141
Manuscripts, representation of jewellery in, 82, 97, 174, 175, 176
Marbode, Bishop of Rennes, 100 n.
Marcasite, 315, 319, 321
Marchant, Pierre, 281, 292, 306
Margaret, Q. of Scotland, 114-115
Maria, 312, 319
Marie Antoinette, Q. of France, 316, 317, 318
Mariette, P. J., 288
Martial, 31, 355
Martin, brothers, 204
"    Sir Richard, 220
Mary, the Blessed Virgin, 36, 37
"            "          monogram of, 97, 204, 249
"    of Burgundy, Empress, 146 n., 246 n.
"    daughter of James I, 302
"    Q. of England, 207, 219, 237, 254, 269
"    Q. of Scots, 220, 221, 234, 265, 268, 269, 353, 366
Marygold by Temple Bar, The, 306
Matsys, Quentin, 156, 227 n., 263
Mathias Corvinus, King of Hungary, 175
Mauricius, Emperor, 59
Mayer collection. See Liverpool
Maximilian, Archduke of Austria, 248
"      I, Emperor, 191, 146 n.
"      II    "    188
Mazarin, Cardinal, 279
Medallions on the hat, 229. See also Enseignes
Medals, pendent, Renaiss., 247-8
"            "      English, 257
Medici, family, 114, 260, 294
"      "    device of, 260
"    Costanza de', 170, 263
"    Cosimo de', 260
"    Francesco de', 233
"    Guiliano de', 171
"    Lorenzo de', 171, 260
"    Lucrezia de', 292
"    Piero de', 260
Mediterranean, 8, 21
Melillo, 334, 359
Melos, 17
"Memento Mori," 363-70
Memorial jewellery, 321, 331
"     rings, 364-70
Merchants' marks on rings, 153
Mermaids, pendants in form of, Renaiss., 249, 250, 251
"         "    hung with bells, 164 n.
Merman, Renaiss. pendant in form of, 243, 249, 251
Merovingian dynasty, 52, 55
"      jewellery, 46, 56
Merovingians, 50
Meuse, jewels found in, 143
Michelangelo di Viviano, 171
Mielich, Hans, 195, 226
Mignot, D., 193, 231, 280, 284, 304
Migrations of the Tribes, 49
Milan, Ambrosiana, 172
"    Brera Gallery, 171
"    Crespi Gallery, 225
"    Poldi-Pezzoli Museum, 217, 255, 256
"    S. Eustorgio, 111
"    school of painting, 167
Millefiori