Pendants & Brooches

Details from the Portrait of Elizabeth Bridges
Elizabeth is bedecked with half a dozen pendants in her portrait. A diamond shaped pendant encrusted with cabochon gems and a pendant teardrop pearl; a baroque pearl in the shape of a dolphin; a wheel-shaped pendant with rubies and pearls, with two dangling peapods; and several pendants decorating her hair.

Detail from the Pelican Portrait of Queen Elizabeth
This brooch is a lovely example of 16th century goldwork, gem-cutting and enamelling. The top portion is a square cut diamond with a scrollwork gold setting and white enamelled flowers at the corner. From this depends an enamelled pelican and her young sitting upon a square cut ruby. Like most elizabethan jewellery, this was a symbolic piece: a pelican feeding her young with her own blood symbolized the sacrifice and devotion of the queen for her subjects.

Detail from Portrait of an Unknown Girl
She is wearing two pendants: one attached to a close-fitting neck chain, in the shape of a woman holding a square emerald; and one strung on a thin strip of silk, made of several pearls.

Detail from the Portrait of the Princess Elizabeth
This diamond-shaped pendant contains a cross of jewels with knotwork in the gold setting and three dangling teardrop pearls.

Detail from Portrait of Queen Elizabeth (1592)
This pendant matches the carcanet from which it hangs: table-cut, square carnelian surrounding a table cut black jewel, possibly jet or a diamond. A teardrop pearl hangs from the bottom.

Detail from the Portrait of Jane Seymour
This brooch or pendant is three letters made of garnet or ruby, with three pearls suspended from the bottom.

Detail from the Ermine Portrait of Queen Elizabeth
This pendant, called the "Three Brothers", was one of the most famous that Elizabeth owned. The massive pyramid-cut diamond is surrounded by three square-cut rubies and three large pearls. This is one of the rare cases where the jewels are set in pronged brackets rather than in elaborate goldwork. A very large teardrop pearl hangs from the bottom.