A rare German pierced gold and enamel gem-set pomander, circa 1600.

This exquisite pomander is in the form of a globe, with applied scrollwork and pendant ring, decorated in white, apple-green, turquoise and mid blue cloisonné enamel.

It is enriched with a garnet and numerous pendant pearls, height 7.5cm.

The pomander is possibly one of two items listed in the 1690 Devonshire Schedule, or Deed of Gift, which records an immense bequest from Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire (1619-1689), to her daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter (1649-1703): ..’Two Gold Casting Bottles for Incens Enamel’d  Openworke sett full with pearle.’

This was an extremely glamorous container for herbs and essences, one of the essentials in the lives of Elizabethan ladies which were intended to hide the dreadful smells that occurred everywhere.

Pomanders such as this were either worn on a neck-chain or attached to a girdle.


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