Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pomander Bead from a Rosary or Devotional Pendant

19th century (late 15th or early 16th century style)
Made in France
Silver gilt, textile and silver thread tassel
Overall (closed): 4 13/16 x 1 5/8 in. (12.2 x 4.1 cm) Overall (with tassel): 8 1/2 x 1 5/8 in. (21.6 x 4.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
Not on view
The English name of this object comes from the French pomme d’ambre (apple of amber). In the Middle Ages it would have been filled with perfume or musk and functioned as a belt accessory. A spring mechanism allows the three segments to open and display three female saints, although there is no space inside to contain the perfume.
Marking: [arms] crosier in pale behind, of a French Abbot or Abbess (?); shield, of Séverac d'Arpajon (Ile de France) or Torsy (Franche-Comté)
J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (until 1917)
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