The Great Pendant with the Arms of Saxony

Helmut Nickel
1980 Metropolitan Museum journal  
Vaults was widely reproduced at the time of the exhibition "The Splendor of Dresden," appearing as a kind of leitmotif on posters and on the cover of the folder accompanying the exhibit. This gold and richly enameled pendant is almost the size of a hand and is lavishly set with more than a hundred diamonds, rubies, and emeralds (Figure i). Aside, however, from the preciousness of its materials and the perfection of its workmanship, the special interest of the pendant lies in the ingenious
more » ... ent of the complex heraldic motifs in its design. Arranged around an oval central medallion is an intricately wrought frame of openwork scrolls with jewel settings into which heraldic elements are integrated in such a way as to give the impression of an armorial shield with multiple quarterings, surmounted by three helmets with crests and mantlings. All the heraldic elements-with a single exceptioncan be found in the full electoral arms of Saxony during the second and third decades of the seventeenth century (Figures 2, 3) . The quarterings of the arms of the electors of Saxony at that time were: 1. Azure, a lion barry of argent and gules,2 crowned or, for the landgravate of Thuringia; 2. Barry of ten, sable and or, with a Rautenkranz (wreath of rue) vert in bend over all, for the duchy of Saxony;3 3. Or, a lion sable, for the margravate of Meissen; 4. Or, a lion sable, for the duchy of Jiilich; 5. Gules, an escarbuncle or, overlaid with an escutcheon argent, for the duchy of Cleves; 6. Argent, a lion gules with a double-forked tail, for the duchy of Berg; 7. Azure, an eagle or, for the palatinate of Saxony; Inescutcheon: Per fess sable and argent, two swords gules in saltire over all, for the archmarshalship of the Holy Roman Empire; 8. Sable, an eagle or, for the palatinate of Thuringia; 9. Or, seme with hearts gules, a lion sable, crowned gules, for the county of Orlamunde; o1. Or, two pales azure, for the county of Landsberg; 1 . Azure, a lion per fess or and argent, for Pleissnerland; 12. Argent, a rose gules, for the county of Altenburg; 13. Divided per pale: (1) gules, a halved eagle argent; (2) barry of eight, argent and gules, for the burggravate of Magdeburg; 14. Argent, three Seebldtter (waterlily leaves) gules, for the county of Brehna; 15. Or, a fess checquy gules and argent, for the county of Marck; 16. Argent, three bars azure, for the county of Eisenberg; 17. Argent, three chevrons gules, for the county of Ravensberg; 18. Or, a hen sable on a mount vert, for the principality of Henneberg; 19. Plain gules, for the Regalienschild, a symbol of sovereignty in the Holy Roman Empire. ®
doi:10.2307/1512761 fatcat:wdywmwrtdvf6tflrwvubsut64u