Dove pendant - inv. 722

Italy, mid-16th century

Dove pendant
gold   pearl   ruby   enamel  
60 x 40 mm
1879 bequest Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli
Inv. 722

Jewelry Room

This pendant, an ornament for the neck or the bust, displays the lightness and delicacy of its openwork design. Its oval band of gold is decorated with leaves in green enamel, gold berries, white flowers, seven of which contain a ruby. In the centre, a dove with outstretched wings and an olive branch in its beak rises from a basket of flowers and fruit. On the dove’s body is set a square diamond and from the medallion hangs a pearl. The openwork design is a feature of the most refined sixteenth-century Italian pendants; this example is rare by its quality and the harmony of its proportions, as well as its exceptional state of preservation.