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Earrings and Pectoral Cross

Earrings and Pectoral Cross

Inv. Nr: CE2 / 00350; CE2 / 00353

This jewellery set, dating from the third quarter of the 18th century, consists of a pectoral cross and a pair of earrings made of silver and rhinestone. The pectoral cross features a large circular stone at the top and a bow attaching three diamond drops suspended at the bottom. On the back there is a little ring to pass the cord through to fasten it. Also known as a jewelled cross, the pectoral cross was initially a cross but parts of it got longer as time passed by, thus becoming an entirely secular piece. In the 18th century, it was suspended by a ribbon that was tied at the neck in a large bow. It was later worn as a brooch. These pieces were also detachable and could be made shorter and easy to wear or longer and significant, depending on the wearer. The earrings are known as girandole earrings and came into fashion in Spain in the middle of the 18th century. They are composed, like the pectoral cross, of a large circular stone at the top and a bow attaching three diamond drops suspended at the bottom. The use of rhinestone is a popular copy of the desired version made with diamonds or precious stones.

An example of this type of jewellery can be seen in the portrait of María Luisa de Parma, by Raphael Mengs, housed at the Prado museum in Madrid.

Pieces on display in the Antechamber, first floor.

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