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
  • Mathias Beitler (active between: 1582-1616) , Possibly after an engraving by
  • Paris, France or Prague, Czech Republic
  • 1620s
    19th century (mounts)
  • Gold, silver, enamel and crystal, enamelled
  • Height: 6.5 cm
    Width: 4.2 cm
  • Inscription: 'GLORIAINEXCELISDEO'
  • W153
  • Smoking Room
Commentary

  • This double-sided locket incorporates two seventeenth-century oval glass plaques depicting religious scenes that were made using a technique called émail en résille sur verre (enamel in a net on glass). They were mounted into the locket and frame in the nineteenth century.
    The inspiration for the front plaque appears to be an engraving of 'The Prodigal Son', signed by Mathias Beitler (Goldsmith/engraver, active in Ansbach 1582-1616) and dating to 1616. However, the maker of the locket has changed the subject to 'The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds'. The source for the reverse is a print of 'The Nativity' signed by Valentin Sezenius (Godlsmith/ engraver active Ansbach 1619-1624) and dated 1623. Whether the engravers of these scenes were also the goldsmiths and/or enamellers of these pieces has not been ascertained, though the tools and methods used for these professions were very similar.