Necklace with a cameo of Elizabeth I
Height x width x depth x length: 3.8 x 3.1 x 1 x 36.5 cm (1 1/2 x 1 1/4 x 3/8 x 14 3/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Gold, silver, diamond, emerald, pearl, agate and glass
Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation Gallery (Gallery 104)
The pendant brooch hangs on a choker-length chain composed of bezel-set pearls, graduated in size, which alternate with silver-on-gold closed-prong settings of old mine-cut diamonds. These elements are connected by gold links. The necklace terminates in a gold rectangular box clasp; two rows of five tiny rose-cut diamonds are set on the top surface. The bail which attaches the pendant to the chain consists of three silver-on-gold prong-set rose-cut diamonds arranged vertically. The top diamond is larger than the two below. On the reverse is a hook which permits the pendant to detach from the chain allowing it to be worn on a longer chain.
The pendant consists of a centrally set oval agate, carved by George Bissinger with a profile image of Elizabeth I. The mount of the cameo, designed by Mrs. Philip (Charlotte) Newman, is composed of a laurel wreath border of leaf-carved emeralds each separated by rows of rose-cut diamonds, except at the top and bottom where the emeralds are divided by double rows.
Mrs. N in a rectangle on underside of clasp. "G. Bissinger" is scratched on the reverse side of the cameo.
By 1984, acquired from a private collector by Wartski, Ltd., London; 2011, sold by Wartski to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 26, 2011)
Museum purchase with funds donated by Susan B. Kaplan