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 brass with a synthetic ruby and green zircon and either a blue bead (to represent the sapphire on the original) or a drop pearl.
The stones measure 12mm x 10 mm and 9mm x 7mm and the whole pendant measures about 5.2mm