An Arts and Crafts opal pendant Unmarked,

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Lot 161
An Arts and Crafts opal pendant
Unmarked,

£ 400 - 600
US$ 490 - 730
An Arts and Crafts opal pendant
Unmarked,
the triangular frame applied with a shaped and pierced triform mount centred by an oval cabochon opal, with ropetwist borders and wire-scrolls and beads, suspended from an opal divider and chain of fancy figure-of-eight and quatrefoil wire links, with ring and toggle clasp, inscribed to the reverse 'OF HOL HERTE COMETH HOPE, 24.7.1912', pendant 6cm long, chain 38cm long.

Footnotes

  • See illustration

    The inscription 'OF HOL HERTE COMETH HOPE' is taken from the 14th century allegorical narrative poem Piers Plowman, about three allegorical characters 'Do-Well', 'Do-Better' and 'Do-Best' (possibly represented by the three sides of the pendant). Piers, the ploughman of the title, acts as the narrator's guide to truth.

    Now considered an important part of the English literary canon, the poem fell into obscurity until the 19th century, when several new editions were published, and comparisons drawn between the moral and social ideas promoted in the works of 19th century figures such as Thomas Carlyle and John Ruskin. The inscription and poem are a fitting reference to the Arts and Crafts fascination with the Medieval, and the desire for social reform which was at the heart of the Movement's beliefs.
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