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    Staff Pick

    Neo Renaissance

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    Each earring centered upon a rectangular-cut bluish green tourmaline, together weighing approximately 7.19 cts., set within an 18K gold quatrefoil setting, the reverse further enhanced with a quatrefoil fleur de lis design, suspended from a swan neck wire.

    I was inspired by the work of Renaissance painters like Petrus Christus & Jan van Eyck. This painting, titled A Goldsmith in his Shop, by Petrus Christus, dates to 1449, and is on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. You will see this quatrefoil setting style in Renaissance portraits of both the Northern & Southern Renaissance. The seated subject of the painting is thought to represent St. Elegius, the patron saint of goldsmiths. According to the Met, underdrawings suggest that the central figure could have been posed for by Willem van Vleuten, who often worked for Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, and was commissioned by the duke to create this painting as a betrothal gift to the two figures standing behind him, Mary of Guelders and James II on the occasion of their marriage. 

    I encourage you to visit the Met's site so that you can enlarge the image and really see the sumptuous hat pin and necklace James II is wearing. The gold embroidery on Mary of Guelders' gown is masterfully rendering to shimmer like the metal. The right hand side of the painting underscores the valuable inventory of the goldsmith. In addition to a collection of finished jewelry, rock crystal, jasper, a collection of pearls and a pair of identical vases highlight the goldsmith's skill and social standing.