An article suspended from a neck chain or necklace (some Renaissance pieces were fastened to the sleeve), either as an auxiliary decoration or as an object worn for its own sake.
Examples of the latter type include an amulet, locket, miniature, pectoral cross or reliquary, but also an ornamental piece of jewelry, usually made of gold or silver, enamelled or set with gemstones or consisting primarily of a large gemstone alone or a cluster of pearls or small stones.
Most pendants are worn as ornaments but often they are an article of Devotional jewelry, mourning jewelry, or magical jewelry, not primarily decorative, evidenced by being worn sometimes under a bodice. Pendants vary greatly in style and size, from the simple primitive examples to the embolic ones of the Middle Ages and the elaborate jewelled ones of the Renaissance and modern times.
A small frame for a glyph or enamelled plaque, to be worn as a pendant. Such pieces were made in the 16th century, sometimes with enamelled decoration and set with colored gemstones.
Pendant watch. A type of woman’s watch worn suspended in the manner of a pendant and usually decorated with enamelling and gemstones. Examples having a gold case, with or without a hinged lid, were made in France from c. 1600; such watches are still being made today.
A gold monogram pendant with enamelling and set with table cut diamonds forming the monogram AA, and having superimposed a crown set with rubies.
It is thought to have been a wedding gift in 1546 to Anna (daughter of Christian II of Denmark) from the future Elector Augustus I of Saxony — the monogram combining their respective initials — and to have been designed by Matthias Zundt and made in a workshop in either Augsburg or Munich.
It has been recently suggested that the occasion for the gift was more likely in 1553 when Augustus succeeded to the title as Elector, thus giving a later date to the piece.
The pendant is still preserved in the Green Vault, Dresden.
A type of pendant made in the form of, or during in its design, an openwork monogram, sometimes enamelled or set with gemstones.
Such pieces became important during the 16th and 17th centuries. Several are said to have been designed by Hans Holbein The Yonger for Henry VIII, incorporating his initial and sometimes that of one of his wives or daughters or of his sister.
Some such pendants have been thought to have been made by Hans Mielich
A type of pendant (decorated with the letters I H S, a Christian sacred monogram (the insigne of the Jesuits) combining the I initials of a Latin phrase, the words of which have been variously stated.
The earliest known example is from c. 1480. Such pendants were popular in all countries of Western Europe in the 15th to 17th centuries, being shown in many portraits, e.g. Mary of Burgundy, Henry VIII, Queen Anne of Denmark, and Alethea Talbot, Countess of Arundel.