Harness Pendant, 13th - 15th century


Item ref: 2621

  • Probably England
  • Copper alloy, gold and enamel
  • 9 cm / 3.5 in x 7.6 cm / 3 in


Gustave Dreyfus (1837-1914)
His son Carl Dreyfus
Seymour de Ricci (1881-1942)
His descendants

The roundel contains undulating tendrils that frame a pelican displayed. In medieval Christianity the pelican was believed so self-sacrificing as to wound her own breast to feed the blood to her young when no other food was available to them. Mirroring the Eucharist, this came to represent the Passion of Christ in Christian Europe. In England, Elizabeth I cleverly adopted the device of the Pelican, portraying herself as the ‘Mother of the Church of England’.