Posted 6 years ago
Since we are showing early religious items, I thought I would post this Agnus Dei pomander pendant.
Rare pomander pendant, Italian, second half of the 17th century. The obverse is painted in vibrant colors, with verre églomisé goldwork; the reverse is set with a rock crystal intaglio. You can read an article on verre églomisé here:
The front depicts the Agnus Dei [Lamb of God] resting on the Book of Revelations.
"The Agnus Dei is a traditional symbol of Christ and was frequently represented in peninsular jewels since at least the 16th century.
Most of the representations show the lamb in a couchant, or seated, position, a posture that evokes a sense of its innocence, meekness and consequent acceptance of sacrifice. A nimbus atop its head marks its divinity and a foreleg usually supports a cross...." (Renaissance Jewelry in the Alsdorff Collection pg. 41.)
Beneath, in the Sacred Heart, are the letters IHS, for Jesus.
The reverse is set with an intaglio rock crystal backed with pink foil. It depicts Christ on the cross, with attendant saints.
The pomander opens for the insertion of a scent-impregnated sponge. Small openings around the edge of the pendant would allow the perfume to escape.