Pendant with ship


This jewel was once thought to date from the Renaissance period. In 1979, however, scholars began to reassess a large collection of drawings by Reinhold Vasters and realised that it was a 19th-century forgery.

There was a renewed interest in the Renaissance in the 19th century, and the huge demand for jewels and jewelled objects from this period encouraged the production of fakes.

Pendant with ship

 

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Pendant with ship

Aachen, about 1860
Made by Reinhold Vasters (1827-1919) and Alfred André (1839-1919)
Gold with enamel and pearls
V&A: 696-1893

Pendant with the Three Virtues

 


In this pendant, Vasters designed a convincing Renaissance jewel that for many years was believed to be of the 16th century.

He has portrayed the personifications of the Virtues (Charity between Temperance and Prudence) arranged in an architectural niche.

Drawings of Vasters’ work, now in the V&A, include designs of this pendant type.

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Pendant with the Three Virtues

Aachen, about 1860-80
Made by Reinhold Vasters (1827-1909)
Gold with enamel, rubies, table-cut diamonds and pearls
Salting Bequest
Case 7. V&A: M.534-1910

Victoria & Albert Museum, London

 



The pendants were donated to the Treasury of the Cathedral of the Virgin of the Pillar in Saragossa, Spain, and bought by the V&A in 1870.

They were originally thought to be of the Renaissance period, on the basis of a 1603 drawing with this motif by Gabriel Ramon. It was not until the drawings of Reinhold Vasters were discovered in the 1970s that scholars realised they were both fakes.

Two pendants depicting a hound on a cornucopia

 

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Two pendants depicting a hound on a cornucopia


Aachen, about 1860
Made by Reinhold Vasters (1827-1909)
Gold with enamel, rubies, diamonds, emeralds, pearls and almandine garnets
Case 7. V&A: 334,336-1870

Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Drawing of a pendant in the form of a ship

 


These designs are among 1079 drawings by the German goldsmith Reinhold Vasters that were discovered in the V&A in the 1970s. They reveal Vasters to be a prolific faker and the designer of this pendant.

Curators worldwide used the drawings in this spectacular find to identify Vasters’ work in their collections, revealing the true provenance of works long believed to be of the Renaissance period.

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Drawing of a pendant in the form of a ship

Aachen, about 1860
By Reinhold Vasters (1827 -1919)
Pencil, pen and ink, and watercolour
Given by L.M. Lowenstein
V&A: E.2806-1919

Victoria & Albert Museum, London