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Brenda Ginsberg Antique Jewelry

Antique Renaissance pendant Gold Enamel Metropolitan Museum fishing boat (7388)

Antique Renaissance pendant Gold Enamel Metropolitan Museum fishing boat (7388)

Regular price $27,000.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $27,000.00 USD
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Antique Renaissance pendant. 18k yellow gold, enamel. Made in Europe, with later French hallmarks 15th -16th century. Exhibited for a number of years in The Metropolitan Museum, Cloisters Archives. Unisex - suitable for a man or a woman.

Measurements: Weight is 18.4 grams. Approximately 2 7/8 (7.25cm) long.

Description : Pendant in the form of a fishing boat. Boat in magnificent gold detail and white enamel. Poles made of solid, 18k gold, with enamelled sails in shades of blue and white. Realistically rope-twisted wirework gold cables and lines. Rope ladder. Masthead in the form of a fully 3-dimentional gryphone or winged dragon with long tail. Incredibly fine, polychrome enamelling in a wide range of colors and gold outlines to details of head. Behind a white-enamelled gold-detailed box (for storage?) sitting at the stern is a fisherman skipper with a red floppy hat, blue vest and green shorts. Arms of gold. He twists to the side to turn the wheel which has blue enamel details. All features from the nautical to the human anatomy, are realistically modelled.
Beneath the prow is a relief sculpture of a maskeron or Gothic mask. Tiny but incredibly detail and workmanship. The center of the bottom of the hull (keel?) is enamelled with a complex, curling blue enamel cross. The rest of the outside of the boat is in white enamel with extremely fine gold detail.

The boat is suspended by a double chain that links to a large, oval bale (loop). The chain is in the form of knotted ropes, that fits in very well with the nautical theme. Amazingly fine detail - each section of gold rope and each knot is realistically portrayed.

The bale is enamelled in blue with small red enamel and gold detail/accents.

Marks and Metal: The loop connecting chains to bezel has a pair of French owl hallmarks, used to indicate 18k gold and maker of unknown origin.

Condition: Considering the age of this pendant, it is in amazing condition. There is minor white enamel loss under the hull (underneath the boat), only visible if you are looking for it. The gold of the mast snapped somewhere in its history, and we had it professionally restored. The rest of the pendant, including the detailed enamel work is in fabulous condition. The gold work and details looks as though they were made today - in very good shape and very clear. Please see enlarged pictures and don't hesitate to ask questions which we will do our best to answer.

THE STORY: The provenance of most antique jewelry is a mystery. In this case, we do know the identity of the last approximate 100 years of previous owners of this pendant.
In the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the 19th century, a trio of brothers, Joseph, Imre and Ernest Brummer were major art dealers, who collected a variety of art forms, including classical antiquities. They moved to Paris in 1906 and from there to New York in the early 20th century. Antiquities from the Brummer brothers found their way to numerous American museums and ultimately, this pendant made its way, via their nephew Dr John Laszlo to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. From there, it was placed, with a few other jewels from their collection on the market and we were fortunate enough to purchase this wonderful piece of history.
I was particularly touched by the fishing boat theme since I have seen a fabulous collection of early Italian / Sicilian jewelry in the museum at Trapani and understood that much of the life of Renaissance Europe centered around boats, sailing and fishing.
We do not know the exact origin of this pendant - it could be any European country. The quality of the workmanship is fantastic, which points to a great jewelry-manufacturing center and a manufacturer who knew about boats.
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