037L13211_6ZHF4_1

Spanish, late 16th century, Pendant in the form of a mermaid. Photo courtesy Sotheby's 

enamelled gold, set with a Baroque pearl, adorned with smaller pearls, suspended from a later metal pin; 7cm., 2 3/4 in. (excluding pin). Estimation 4,000 — 6,000 GBP

The use of the Baroque pearl demonstrates the skill of the jeweller to adapt nature to a work of art. Such pendants were popular from the second half of the 16th century, in particular in Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. A very similar pendant was sold in these rooms on 17 May 1960, lot 117, catalogued as German, early 17th century. The present pendant is, however, likely to be Spanish. It is close to a design for a pendant by Jaume Pares, dating to 1591 (Muller, op. cit. p. 80, fig. 117). A more elaborate Spanish 16th-century siren pendant is in the British Museum, whilst the white enamelling is similar to that seen on a centaur pedant with the Hispanic Society of America (Muller, op. cit. pp. 81, 83, figs. 119, 125). 

RELATED LITERATURE: P. Muller, Jewels in Spain 1500-1800, New York, 1972, pp. 80, 81, 83, figs. 117, 119, 125 

Sotheby's. European Sculpture & Works of Art. London | 04 déc. 2013, 11:00 AM -www.sothebys.com