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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

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Reliquary pendant

A type of reliquary in the form of a pendant. Examples are known in many forms and styles.

One handsome piece, c. 1400, is a pendant in the form of a Triptych with a suspended pearl, the two doors being slices of rock crystal that open to reveal an enamelled miniature depicting Christ between two angles holding the Crown of Thorns over his head and the space below the miniature being a compartment for a relic.

Another is a circular locket with 8 pin-set pearls projecting from the rim; on the front is the figure of an angel in émail en ronde bosse, on the reverse is an engraved portrait of John the Baptist, and inside the locket the space is divided into compartments for relics; the piece is possibly French, early 15th century, and was sold from the Von Hirsh Collection by Sotheby's, London, on 22 June 1978 for £20,000.

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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