Antique 1890s Austro-Hungarian pelican pendant with enamel, pearls and gemstones

An exceptional ca. 1890s Austro-Hungarian pelican pendant, double sided with enamel, pearls, and gemstones. The pendant is in Neo-Renaissance or Renaissance Revival style, an aesthetic movement popular in the German and Austro-Hungarian empires around the turn of the century. Jewelers working in this style made jewelry and objects in the style of the 16th century, making use of enamel and bright gemstones. This piece is an unusual and extraordinary example, enameled front and back in green and white and set pink rubies, tourmaline, and pearls. The subject is a pelican with expressive eyes and downy feathers. The pelican is a powerful symbol of motherly love, charity, and sacrifice. The story of the mother pelican "in her piety," piercing her breast to feed her starving young, is known from religious imagery as far back as medieval times. Excellent condition, done in sterling silver. Very little wear to enamel. 

Measurements: 2 1/2" pendant drop, chain 18"
Gemstone details: Pink Tourmaline, Rubies, Sterling Silver, Pearls
Era: 1890s, Belle Epoque/Art Nouveau
Markings: N/A

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