9 December 2011
A SPANISH PARCEL-GILT PENDANT BOX AND COVER
APPARENTLY UNMARKED, EARLY 17TH CENTURY
Hexagonal, the applied openwork base with central boss, the sides applied with silver-gilt cherubs holding Instruments of the Passion, the applied columns between cast with demi-figures, the sides with scroll brackets linked to suspension chain, the detachable cover with applied shells at intervals and surmounted by a cockerel finial rising from openwork foliage
5½ in. (14 cm.) overall with chain
3 oz. (108 gr.)
Sir Julius Wernher, 1st Bt. (1850-1912), Bath House, London, in the Red Room, by whom bequeathed, with a life interest to his widow,
Alice, Lady Wernher, subsequently Lady Ludlow (1862-1945), to their son
Sir Harold Wernher, 3rd Bt., G.C.V.O. (1893-1973), Bath House, London, and from 1948, Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire, and by descent.
The Wernher Collection; Christie's, London, 5 July 2000, lot 7.
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1913 Bath House Inventory, p. 47, no. 253, in the Red Room, in the 'showcase to the right of the fireplace'.
Bedford, Cecil Higgins Museum, 1959-60.
It is possible, given the subject of the decoration, that this box was designed as a small pendant container for a relic connected with the Passion. The shells and cockerel on the cover are emblematic of Saint James of Compostela and Saint Peter respectively.
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