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
  • France or Italy
  • early 17th century
  • Gold, rock crystal or glass, pearl and enamel, enamelled
  • Height: 6.4 cm
  • W120
  • Smoking Room
Commentary
History
Images & Media
  • Devotional jewellery has often been used as a talisman or as an aide to private worship, as well as being a statement of faith.

    On the front of this pendant is a miniature sculptural enamelled scene of the Crucifixion of Christ, who is flanked by the Virgin and St John the Evangelist. On the reverse, also in enamel, is the Lamb of God (or 'Agnus Dei'), surrounded by rays of gold. It holds in its right foreleg, a cross, attached to which is a flag, known as the banner of the Resurrection. The lamb was a sacrificial animal in ancient Eastern religions, as, for example, with the Paschal sacrifice on the eve of the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt and the annual sacrifice before Passover when the Temple stood in Jerusalem. It was adopted by Christians to represent Christ in his role as a human sacrifice to atone for humanity's sins. The Lamb and the banner symbolise Christ's triumph over death by rising again, which Christians believe he did on Easter Sunday.