Chain bracelet

Chain bracelets of silver or gold were popular throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. In this example, the botanical motifs and the colour of enamelling on the clasp suggest a date of about 1640.

During the Renaissance and Baroque periods bracelets were often worn in pairs, as they had been in the ancient world. It is likely that this bracelet was once one of a pair.

Chain bracelet

 

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Chain bracelet

Northern Europe, about 1640
Gold with enamel
Museum no. 36-1894

Portrait of a Lady

 

The woman is wearing a pair of bracelets very similar to the one shown here. The angle of her clasped hands means that only one bracelet is clearly visible, the other almost hidden from view. The fashion for these bracelets was widespread in Northern Europe.

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Portrait of a Lady

Netherlands, about 1640
By Jan Cornelisz Verspronck
Oil on canvas

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford