The vision of St. Anthony

Museal pendant with miniature of a saint in a diamond wreath, around 1700

Although he is said to have performed numerous miracles, the figure of St. Anthony of Padua is familiar to us not in one of those situations, but at the moment of his vision. It shows the saint, holding lilies in his arms as a symbol of his purity, above the Bible, from which the Christ child appears to him. A bright light is said to have filled the cell of the monastery when he was thus found. After he awoke from his ecstasy, however, he requested that the news of his miraculous apparition not be spread until after his death. The present miniature also shows, heightened in gold, this moment of St. Anthony's vision. Although the depiction of the saint with the Christ child on his lap and lilies in his arms seems typical to us today, this type of painting has only really become widespread since the 17th century. Most of the paintings in this iconography were produced from the mid-17th century onwards and are set in a wider context of increasing artistic interest in the depiction of visions of saints and religious ecstasy, of which Bernini's Rapture of St Theresa (1645-52) is probably the best-known example. The miniature, presented under rock crystal, is surrounded by a wreath of diamonds and floral ornaments in silver. In addition to the ornamentation, the table-cut diamonds and the floral engraving on the gilded reverse suggest an early date of origin. The pendant probably originates from southern Germany or northern Italy. It has been very well preserved and is a rare surviving example of a religious pendant of its time. For an earlier and a later example of a pendant with a miniature of a saint, between which our pendant can be placed in terms of time and style, see Hanns-Ulrich Haedeke: Schmuck aus drei Jahrtausenden. Collection Hanns-Ulrich Haedeke, Cologne 2000, p. 216, no. 285 and p. 261, no. 334.

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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.