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Ref  MM3 Salvator Mundi

Late 17th century French locket, depicting allegorical figures, to obverse Joseph and the Christ child as Salvator Mundi and to reverse  the Christ child and Mary. To interior is a landscape scene. Many French enamel painters were also trained as goldsmiths and the two trades had close links. In the centres of Blois, Châteaudun and Paris, watches, jewellery and other small items of silver and gold were often decorated with enamelled allegorical figures. In the 17th century, new techniques of painting enamels allowed delicate portraits resembling tiny oil paintings to be created. The soft mellow colours and subtle stippled enamel painting on this locket are typical of this work and the delicate landscape within compares with the fine enamelling found on French watch cases of the period. The locket measures 1 and 1/3 inches by one inch and it has survived in remarkably fine condition. For similar examples, see catalogue entries 288 and 289 in Tait's, The Art of the Jeweller, A Catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift to the British Museum.

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