Renaissance JEWELLERY

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RENAISSANCE JEWELLERY
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Renaissance Jewellery - THE  BORGIAS   wiki

The Renaissance was a time of extraordinary exploration, spiritual and religious as well as geographical exploration. Mythological subjects became popular for jewellery, and that geographical exploration meant there were all-new sources for gemstones. As well, techniques of making imitation gems and pearls meant that even the less well-to-do could get jewellery and wear it. Designs are generally bold and elegantly simple, without the baroque daintiness and detail one sees in the 16th and 17th centuries. Jacqueline Herald writes in her book, Renaissance Dress in Italy 1400-1500 (Humanities Press: New Jersey, 1981), that "most jewels were uncomplicated in design, because a great deal of importance was attached to the quality of the stones themselves" (p. 171). Most Renaissance painters, surprisingly, were also goldsmiths, like Botticelli and Donatello. From the second half of the 15th century on the bulky head dresses from the Middle Ages gave way to carefully fashioned hair, decorated by string of pearls and ferronieres. New dress fashions with receding necklines caused the return of the necklace which had disappeared from female necks over the Middle Ages. On the portraits depicted below these changes are nicely illustrated. Necklines recede further as time progresses and the head ornaments become further delicate. Below is jewellery shown in artworks.


Renaissance Jewellery - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Renaissance Jewellery - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Renaissance Jewellery - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Maria Baroncelli wife of
Benedetti di Tommaso Portinari
by Hans Memling c. 1470
Barbara Pallavicino
by Alessandro Araldi 1495
Young Woman
(said to be Simonetta Vespucci ?)
c1480/85
Attributed to Sandro Botticelli
Necklaces from the 14th century onward were very rich and could be very elaborate, such as the one on the left, of Maria Baroncelli a Medici agent's wife's elaborate necklace of enamelled roses and pearls. The shapes of pearls were usually round, though larger ones might be vaguely teardrop-shaped, as in the portrait on the left of Barbara Pallavicino, by Alessandro Araldi, done in 1495. Her necklace is of pearls, with dangling stones ending in a clear stone, but the pearl in her hair is not round at all. (The cord around her head is quite common, while the braid-wrap is seen frequently in Milanese portraits) Generally attributed to Sandro Botticelli (Young Woman [Simonetta Vespucci?] in Mythological Guise, ca. 1480, hanging in Frankfurt's Städelsches Kunstinstitut, depicts a woman wearing a cameo depicting Apollo and Marsyas, a carnelian duplicate of which was once in the Medici collection. It hangs from many narrow golden strands.



Renaissance Jewellery - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Renaissance Jewellery - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Renaissance Jewellery - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Bianca Maria Sforza
c1493 by Ambrogio de Predis
Detail of picture left
Piero della Francesca's portrait of Battista Sforza, 1465
Bianca Maria Sforza painted around 1493 by the Milanese painter Ambrogio de Predis (a court painter to the Duke of Milan), depicts an head-dress (detail above) full of pearls, as well as pearls strewn in the braid-wrap.

This portrait depicts the wife Battista Sforza of the Duke of Milan. In this detail, her necklace is a collar of two rows of large pearls linked by plaques of enamelled, diamond-shaped gold plaques with alternating center gems of round and dark oval or square and light-colored material. A string of pearls is suspended from it, going from one side of the collarbone to the other. Another vertical string of pearls intersects it, with what is thought was a reliquary pendant on a chain. Reliquaries, or pendants containing some piece of Christian history (pieces of the True Cross, for example), were worn in this period.


Renaissance Jewellery - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Renaissance Jewellery - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Renaissance Jewellery - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Lizard Pendant
Renaissance Pendant
Renaissance Pendant
A gold pendant jewel of an opal set lizard with a ruby collar and eyes. The underside is enamelled in black and white. The lizard or salamander was a favourite figure of Renaissance goldsmiths, and was often used in the jewellery of this period. This motif was also sometimes associated with Francis I of France (reign 1515-1547). This pendant illustrates the Renaissance fashion for animals and birds in jewellery. Men or women could have worn it. They would either have suspended it from a chain or attached it directly onto the fabric of their doublet, sleeve or bodice. Both the front and back are decorated with equal care. The sculpted form and rich enamel work are typical of pieces made by Renaissance goldsmiths. The lavish use of emeralds suggests that it may have been made in the Spanish colonies in South America. This pendant was believed to have prophylactic (protective) powers. Similar pendants can be seen in paintings, but surviving examples are rare. The backs of the gemstones are left open, rather than closed as was usual in this period. This was to allow the medicinal or magical properties of the gems to be transmitted to the skin of the wearer. Magical inscriptions on the reverse added to their power. Inscriptions reinforce the amuletic properties of the gemstones. At the top of the pendant, an invocation to ward off epilepsy frames the garnet, a stone thought to strengthen the heart and give vigour. Below, invocations to God, Jesus and the Virgin Mary surround the period, thought to cure throat and mouth diseases and bring happiness



Renaissance Jewellery - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Renaissance Jewellery - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Renaissance Jewellery - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Portrait Medal of Isabella d'Este
Heneage or Armada Jewel
Pendant Reliquary Cross
Medals such as this one were commissioned by Renaissance rulers and others to be given as tokens of honour and respect. Isabella presented bronze versions of this medal to poets, and the text on the back reads "For Those Who Serve Her." Isabella d'Este (1474-1539) came to Mantua from Ferrara in 1490 as the wife of Marquis Francesco Gonzaga, a war captain who loved art but was even fonder of arms, dogs, and horses. She entered the city via five triumphal arches, in a wagon decorated by Ercole de' Roberti, one of the best Ferrarese painters of the day. She settled into Castello di San Giorgio, where she had a private apartment only a few yards from the Camera degli Sposi. Her quarters contained the studiolo, a little studio, that would become one of her greatest sources of pride. This locket encloses a miniature of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603). According to tradition, the jewel was given by the queen to Sir Thomas Heneage. He was a Privy Counsellor and Vice-Chamberlain of the Royal Household. The jewel remained in the possession of the Heneage family until 1902. It has sometimes been called the Armada Jewel. However, it was probably made in about 1595, some years after the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588.

The reverse shows a ship holding steady on a stormy sea. It symbolises the Protestant church steered by Elizabeth through religious turmoil.
This object is an example of a pendant reliquary. The hinged lid opens to reveal a cavity that would once have held a relic. This may have been a section of the True Cross, as reliquaries often took the form of the relic they held. Personal reliquaries were popular in the Middle Ages and were worn by clerics and lay people alike.



Renaissance Jewellery - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Renaissance Jewellery - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Pomander
Mary of Burgundy Diamond Ring
The 1477 Ring
A cameo of Bona Sforza, as Dowager Queen of Poland
A Pomander Could Hide the Odors
of Everyday Renaissance Life
Archduke Maximillian of Germany gave the first recorded diamond engagement ring to Mary of Burgundy in 1477, making her the first known woman to receive a diamond to announce her engagement. Most rings of the Middle Ages and before were of necessity recessed, low-profile, practical designs. Sensing both the spirit of the times and borrowing elements of the era, we have recreated Mary’s ring. Twenty-one generations have passed since the Archduke gave Mary his betrothal ring. In our contemporary interpretation we have set the diamond low for safety and comfort and secured the sides with ten graduated half-spheres.
Ornate, jeweled pomanders were worn at the ready to be held to the nose when one encountered the stenches of everyday life. The hollow golf ball sized vessel could contain a variety of fragrant materials such as spices, citrus and rose petals.Here the Juan Borgia Historical Figure clutches a golden, bejeweled pomander.

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