Polyp Colony

John Paul Miller (American, 1918–2013)


Overall (Pendant): 5.7 x 5.1 x 1.6 cm (2 1/4 x 2 x 5/8 in.) Overall (Length of chain): 41.3 cm (16 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Pure gold, 18 kt gold, enamel

Not On View


Americas, Contemporary Art, Jewelry


Necklaces and neck bands

Pendant brooch of abstract pod-like form decorated with vitreous green, gold, orange enamel. Below are stylized leaves decorated with granulated pure gold spheres. Woven gold chain. Pendant hoop attachment. Together with hand-woven chain and tubular clasp with granulation. Back of pendant/brooch is made of 18 kt. yellow gold.

John Paul Miller, who studied and taught at the Cleveland Institute of Art, inspired many jewelry makers represented in this exhibition, including William Harper and Thomas Gentille. Miller admired the sophisticated metalwork of the ancient Etruscans, especially their use of gold granulation (a delicate process in which tiny balls of pure gold are fused to a gold surface). Miller reinvigorated this ancient technique and used it to great textural effect on elegant pendants and brooches that recall mysterious marine creatures. Along with granulation, Miller used enamels to give subtle, mottled coloration to the surface of Polyp Colony.


"JPM" incised below pin stem


John Paul Miller; Daphne Farago, June 17, 1996 Daphne Farago; to MFA, 2006, gift of Daphne Farago.

Credit Line

The Daphne Farago Collection


Reproduced with permission.