Remembrance of Holbein's times

Antique pendant of enamelled silver with cameo of Flora, around 1870

Even earlier than in Germany, nostalgic jewellery in the style of the Neo-Renaissance was worn in 19th century England. Here, however, the term Holbein style was preferred, in reference to the painter Hans Holbein the Younger - and this despite the fact that the painter was born in Augsburg and had initially worked in Basel. After Holbein emigrated to London in 1532, he was commissioned by Henry VIII in 1533 to design the decorations for his wedding to Anne Boleyn. Portraits for the king and his family followed, and Holbein was associated with the Tudor period like no other painter. But in addition to portraits of adorned nobles, Holbein also drew his own designs for jewellery, which then met with renewed interest in the 19th century. Especially since the World's Fair in 1862, designs based on Holbein's work became popular in England. They were characterized by colored gemstones or enamel, were richly ornamented and often included cameos - like the present pendant. Plastic, colourful enamelled tendrils wind from all sides around the oval, which holds an antique portrait in its centre. The lady presented to us here, carved in shell, is Flora, the Roman goddess of blossom and spring. She is identified by the flowers in her hair, which are attributed to her. Already in Holbein's time, people collected antique cameos, so that the recourse to such a motif is not surprising here. The pendant bears a kuk Austro-Hungarian import hallmark, which shows that the pendant was imported to Bergen in Austria between 1872 and 1902. It was probably made in Great Britain. Despite its great age, the pendant is beautifully preserved - and ready to revive the colourful and splendid world of the Tudor period after half a millennium.

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You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.