Pendant in the form of a mermaid

Probably based on a design by Reinhold Vasters German

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 542

A number of details of the design of this jewel—including the long, attenuated fish tail, the wispy, featherlike skirt, the stole draped from the shoulders, and the hair styled in a low chignon worn with a tiara—are present in two unpublished designs for a mermaid jewel by the Aachen goldsmith Reinhold Vasters that are now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The techniques employed in finishing the enameled gold tail indicate that the goldsmith who executed the jewel misunderstood certain Renaissance practices in preparing gold to receive enamel and in smoothing and polishing the surface once the enamel has been fired, misunderstandings that may have arisen, at least in part, from looking at worn or damaged sixteenth-century jewels.

Pendant in the form of a mermaid, Probably based on a design by Reinhold Vasters (German, Erkelenz 1827–1909 Aachen), Baroque pearl with enameled gold mounts set with diamonds and with pendant pearls, German or French

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