17th century Spanish crucifix
A superior example of a high carat gold, early 17th century Spanish pectoral cross. Such devotional ornaments were especially popular in early 17th century Spain as sumptuary laws restricted most non-religious personal adornment. Many of the elaborate works produced by goldsmiths and jewellers were rosaries, crucifixes and other religious emblems, which enabled their wearers to evade royal prohibitions and also demonstrate their piety and Catholic faith. This cross has cushion-shaped terminals with green enamel decoration and white enamel beading. Below the Holy Dove is a modelled figure of Jesus Christ wearing a white enamel loin cloth, surmounted by a banner bearing the acronym ‘INRI’ or [(Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum: Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews]. There is a white enamel skull and crossbones at the base of the cross. To reverse are symbols of the Passion executed in colourful enamels. The cross measures 3 inches by 2 inches. A rare and wonderful early jewel.
Similar in Parke-Bernet Galleries catalog,
The Melvin Gutman Jewelry Part VI, December 7, 1971
Similar in Kugel’s Joyaux Renaissance