16th c prophylactic jewel
A pendant based on one from the V and A collection.
The settings of the stones on this pendant are open at the back. This allows direct contact with the wearer's skin. According to medieval and Renaissance beliefs, the magical properties of the stones could thus benefit the wearer. Renaissance pendants were often made as amulets to protect against danger. Here, the power of the amulet is heightened by an inscription on the reverse to ward off epilepsy and an invocation to God, Jesus and Mary.
'DETRAGRAMMATA IHS MARIA'
This is available in Gilded silver with a garnet and peridot (first picture)
and gilded brass with a synthetic ruby and green zircon (second picture)
All versions have a large drop pearl of around 10mm.
The stones measure 12mm x 10 mm and 9mm x 7mm and the whole pendant measures about 5.2mm
The original in the V and A has a sapphire drop, this reproduction has a cultured pearl in place of the sapphire.