Art/ Collection/ Art Object


16th century
Northern European
Gold, partly enameled, set with diamonds
Overall: 2 3/4 × 1 9/16 in. (7 × 4 cm)
Metalwork-Gold and Platinum
Credit Line:
The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 521
The size of this jewel and related ones (see also 17.190.892; 17.190.893; 32.100.298; and 41.100.26) is such that only the closest viewer could appreciate their full beauty and dexterous execution; they represent the finest craftsmanship for the wealthiest patrons. Each combines gold with natural treasures, such as pearls and gemstones. Bulbous baroque pearls cleverly suggest the fluffy down of a swan’s underbelly or a cloudy mass supporting the Crucifixion. Tiny figures are enameled in the round. Melding the secular and the sacred, these jewels were made to be worn: pinned to garments or hanging close to their owners’ skin. The animals might be heraldic devices; the swan, for example, could symbolize the Society of the Virgin Mary, called the Order of the Swan, which was founded in mid-fifteenth-century Brandenburg in Germany.

[Elizabeth Cleland, 2017]
Michael Friedsam (until 1931; bequeathed to MMA)
Related Objects


Date: 16th century Medium: Gold, partly enameled, set with diamonds and emeralds; pearls Accession: 32.100.298 On view in:Gallery 521

Pendant in the form of a ferret

Date: 16th century Medium: Gold, partly enameled, set with rubies and diamonds; pearls Accession: 41.100.26 On view in:Gallery 521


Artist: Enamel on reverse after a design by Étienne Delaune (French, Orléans 1518/19–1583 Strasbourg) Date: ca. 1550–60, back: 19th century Medium: Chalcedony, mounted in gold with enamel, rubies, emeralds, diamond, and pearl Accession: 17.190.907 On view in:Gallery 544

Pendant in the Form of a Cross

Date: probably late 16th century Medium: Enameled gold Accession: 1982.60.379 On view in:Gallery 540

The Crucifixion

Date: 16th century Medium: Gold, partly enameled, set with Baroque pearl Accession: 17.190.892 On view in:Gallery 521