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Pendant with the Virgin and Child

Pendant with the Virgin and Child

c. 1160-1170

circle of Godefroid de Huy

(Netherlandish)

Gilded copper, champlevé enamel; the reverse decorated in vernis brun

Overall: 19.8 x 17 x 3.2 cm (7 13/16 x 6 11/16 x 1 1/4 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1926.428

Description

This pendant was made in the Rhine-Meuse region--now in modern Belgium--renowned for the production of fine metalwork objects, especially enamels. An enamel plaque depicting the enthroned Virgin and Christ child dominates the pendant. Four peripheral enamels depict angelic figures representing virtues: Humility, Virginity, Piety, and Mercy, each identified by an inscription. The pendant may have been made to serve as a reliquary to house a consecrated host. The refined craftsmanship and costly materials fittingly honor these sacred remains.

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