When and where was this pendant made? It would appear that both the glass and silver-gilt mount date to the Renaissance. The glass panels are reverse-painted (a technique known today by the French name, verre églomisé ) and resemble German or Italian examples from the early seventeenth century. Pendants in the shape of books were fashionable during the Renaissance, especially in the sixteenth century.
However, the earliest record for this pendant dates to 1871—and, interestingly, in that same year the Victoria and Albert Museum purchased a remarkably similar pendant from a dealer in Nuremberg.
The similarity between the two pieces makes one ask the question: could the seventeenth-century glass and metalwork have been re-used materials, combined during the Victorian period to make both the Courtauld’s pendant and the V&A’s?
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