Antique Eighteenth Century Swiss Double Face Religious Pendant or Pendentif

This exquisite pendentif or pendant holds two beautifully painted images; one on enamel and the second reverse painted under glass. This work is specific to the area near Lucerne, Switzerland and is known as "Trachtendeli' . This example dates towards the end of the 18th century, 1790-1800, and originates from a fine Parisian religious collection.

This type of pendant was worn by women of the Catholic faith, often attached to beloved rosary beads. The gilt over silver pendant is formed of three separate sections (flower, heart and tassel) with different ornamentation on the two sides. One side depicts the Crucifixion, painted on cobalt blue enamel set into a heart shaped mount. The painting is very simple and typical of the Swiss area and workmanship of the period. The six looped ornament above is adorned by hand cutouts of leaves and raised globes. There are five petals of royal blue enamel (one petal missing) and a central half globe surrounded by a twisted braid. The heart frame is adorned with a twisting braid which stands outward from the middle of the thickness of the heart.

The reverse side depicts the Madonna as a young lady, holding a large cross to her right and having a halo hovering above her head. She is reverse painted under glass with vivid colors of red, blue, gold and sienna brown. The heart frame slopes inward at a steeper rate than the reverse side, giving the appearance of a small window to the eglomise portrait. There are bezel teeth around the outer edge. The interior is embellished with tiny engraved accent marks at the four corners surrounding the portrait. The six looped ornament above this is in the form of a flower which has hand cutouts of leaves and raised half dots. At the center is a bezel set garnet stone.

The heart looping flower ornament measures: 3/4" x 1", the heart:1 1/8" x 7/8" and it is 1/4" thick. The enamel image measures: 5/8" tall, the eglomise image measures 1/2" tall. The entire length of the piece is 3 1/2" including the top ring. It is in very good antique condition: one missing enamel petal as mentioned above. This piece shows no maker's mark.

It is a spectacular religious pendant of faith which is rich in symbolism and history.

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