To estimate the true position that Cellini ought to occupy, especially with regard to such examples of jewelry as have come down to the present day. The fertile mind of the Renaissance jeweller and the artist who drew his designs, are so quite a few that house would fail were one to aim to enumerate even a tithe of those met with on jewels of the Cinquecento. Another noticeable point with regard to the jewelry of this period is its astonishing variety. Its decline, and reduction to a monotonous repetition of design, coincides with the disappearance of these artists who possessed the universality of a man like Cellini, and with the division of labour attribute of recent artwork and industry.
Celtic literature and legend are full of references to those golden ornaments, and classical writers usually make mention of them. Of bracelets of primitive work are a well-known pair within the British Museum, which were discovered in a tomb at Cervetri (Cære). They are composed of skinny plates of gold measuring eight inches in size by 2¼ inches in width, divided into six sections, ornamented with scenes totally Assyrian in character, indicated by strains of microscopic granulations (Pl. VII, 4). In Etruscan artwork both women and men are represented wearing necklaces and even bracelets formed of bullæ.
The decoration of many of the rings of this period may be very curious. On some the dying’s head in its natural shape is fantastically formed in enamel, has small diamond eyes, and is supported on each side by skeletons bent alongside straubel dies founded jewelry the ring of the ring. The bezel of others is of crystal within the shape of a coffin, the lid of which on being eliminated discloses a skeleton. Widows on the death of their husbands generally converted their marriage ceremony rings into memorial rings.
Though armorial signets were worn in Italy as early as the fourteenth century, they weren’t frequent in England till the graduation of the sixteenth. F all courses of mediæval jewellery finger rings have been preserved in the best quantity. Among the varied causes that have contributed to this end result have to be reckoned their very general use in former instances, their comparatively small worth, which frequently saved them from the melting-pot and the reality that they had been almost the only articles of value normally buried with the dead. The best examples of this kind of brooch are generally identified as the “brooch of Lorn,” the “Ugadale brooch,” and the “Loch Buy brooch.” The brooch of Lorn, nonetheless in the possession of the lineal descendants of the Macdougals of Lorn, dates from the fifteenth century. It consists of a disc of silver 4½ inches in diameter, enriched with filigree. In the centre is a raised capsule topped with a large rock crystal, and around the ring of the brooch a circle of eight obelisks.
Of pendants containing groups of small enamelled figures there seems to have been an infinite manufacturing in Southern Germany in the direction of the shut of the sixteenth century, particularly within the workshops of Munich and Augsburg. These items, that are very charming, are greatly wanted by collectors, and are among the most highly prized of all objects of virtu at this time day. Their workmanship is extraordinarily elaborate; although not a couple of of them, it should be confessed, are overloaded with detail, and somewhat unsatisfactory in composition. Throughout the Middle Ages nearly every pendant worn on the neck (pent-à-col) bore a religious signification, but in the course of the shut of the fifteenth or the start of the sixteenth century the pendant appears to have misplaced much of its non secular character, and became primarily an object of ornament. That even in the sixteenth century it did not totally serve an ornamental objective is shown by a selection of portraits dating from the first half of the century, where the termination of the neck-chain is hidden beneath a square-cut bodice. It was very possibly a reliquary, or perhaps a cross; for crosses form a very giant proportion of Renaissance pendants present at the moment day.
It is very to be seen that the shapes of all ancient jewellery and ornaments, significantly those of the Romans, had been in a great measure determined by a perception of their magical effectivity. The sporting of amulets was most frequent among the many Romans of all classes. They have been generally enclosed in a bulla, and suspended from the neck.
When one remembers the superstitious respect which was universally paid to treasured stones, and especially to amber, in early occasions, it’s probable that these were regarded as amulets. The more luxurious necklaces, which must have been worn by women of rank, are composed of gold beads or of valuable stones in delicate settings of twisted or beaded gold. A certain number of earrings have been found, however they aren’t common. They are typically a hoop of silver wire, plain, or twisted into a spiral kind, and hung sometimes with beads of coloured glass or clay.
The term “Toyman” was employed by Pinchbeck himself, but the title had, of course, no reference to what are now known as toys. In France and Germany a steel composition like gold, in imitation of pinchbeck, calledSimilor or “goldshine,” was produced, first by Renty, of Lille, about 1729, and subsequently improved by Leblanc, of Paris. But the name of the English inventor of the metal was well-known in France, the place it was retained in such varieties as “pinsebeck” or “pinsbeck.”
In order to arrive at the that means of those crude emblems so usually applied to objects of jewellery, regard should be paid to the feelings of the occasions that gave them delivery. Of the goldsmiths ordained that no jeweller ought to promote any article of silver unless it was as fine as sterling, “nor sett it to promote earlier than it be touched” with the leopard’s head and maker’s mark. But exceptions were always made in favour of small articles of jewellery “which couldn’t fairly bear the identical touch.” Such materials as pinchbeck and Similor and the plated objects of contemporary times hardly fall inside the present class.