Encapsulating Renaissance revival at its zenith, this cross & pendant jewel captivates both from the front as well the reverse.
Noteworthy on many levels, this pendant can be worn either side facing forward. Studded with natural robin's egg blue turquoise, the front also utilizes the characteristic palette of inky black and white enamel.
The color scheme was a favorite during the Renaissance period when enamel jewelry peaked in popularity.
Rendered in cloisonné enamel, tiny wires and cells were crafted in gold then successively filled with polychrome enamels.
Petite dots of alternating color are seen throughout. Four rose cut diamonds decorate the central turquoise. Note the sculptural scalloped edges to the arms of the cross.
On the reverse, the inclusion of French blue enamel with the ebony and alabaster hues creates a notable impression. A three-dimensional round enameled original bale is dotted with leaves two flowers, one with a blue turquoise and one smaller turquoise now green with age.
Unbelievably, this is also a reliquary which could be opened by a jeweler. However, the contents of true reliquaries are sacred and blessed objects and meant to be kept intact, undisturbed and untouched.
Tiny hinges rest at each of the arms of the cross partially in from the scalloped areas. This has been left closed to preserve the contents and also the gold work. In 18k yellow gold, this is a true masterwork and a scarce example of its kind.