Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pendant in the form of a centaur

late 16th–early 17th century
possibly Spanish
Baroque pearl with enameled gold mounts set with sapphires and rubies, and with pendent pearls
Height: 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm)
Metalwork-Gold and Platinum
Credit Line:
The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, 1982
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 540
Baroque pearls provided a special challenge to the imagination of the Renaissance goldsmith. The rather difficult shape of this irregular pearl has been used in an ingenious way to suggest the hybrid form of the centaur, the half-human, half-equine creature of classical myth. The base of the jewel incorporates an earlier piece of gold filigree work in a lobed pattern associated with Hispano-Moresque design. In addition, although reenameled, it displays traces of the dull enameled colors used by Hispano-Moresque goldsmiths. The jewel-decorated band on the side of the base, the chains, and the canopy from which the chains are suspended are later additions.
Jack and Belle Linsky (until 1982; to MMA)
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