The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
This object is currently being catalogued
  • Pendant jewel
  • This object is currently being catalogued
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany or Spain
  • late 16th century
  • Baroque pearl, gold and enamel, enamelled
  • W89
  • Smoking Room
Commentary
  • One of the hallmarks of the Renaissance princely cabinet (Wunderkammer) was the juxtaposition of marvels from the natural world with masterpieces of human ingenuity. This duality can be seen in the small sculptures or items of jewellery created from large misshapen ‘baroque’ pearls, which became especially popular at princely courts from the late sixteenth century. This particularly delightful pendant depicts a rabbit or hare, the flecked white enamel points suggesting the animal’s fur. Baroque pearl jewellery of this type was made in Spain but also elsewhere in Europe, for example in Florence.