Artist: Enamel on reverse after a design by Étienne Delaune (French, Orléans 1518/19–1583 Strasbourg)

Date: ca. 1550–60, back: 19th century

Culture: French, Paris

Medium: Chalcedony, mounted in gold with enamel, rubies, emeralds, diamond, and pearl

Dimensions: Overall, with pendant pearl, without bail: 3 3/16 x 1 7/8 in. (8.2 x 4.8 cm); Overall, central commesso (confirmed): 1 9/16 x 1 7/16 in. (4 x 3.6 cm); 40 x 34.7 mm

Classification: Metalwork-Gold and Platinum

Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Accession Number: 17.190.907


One of the four cardinal virtues, Prudence gazes into a mirror while holding a snake—attributes symbolizing, respectively, her self-knowledge and her wisdom. The pendant is an example of the Italian commesso technique, in which carved gemstones are combined with gold and enamel to create figural compositions. The enamel on the reverse, a nineteenth-century addition, is after a design by Étienne Delaune (1518/19–1583).