Jewel of Pearl, Gold, and Precious Stones

The pendant was a present to Princess Caroline Amalie from the sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen’s friend, Count Sommariva. The jewel is composed of a pearl mounted with gold and represents a rabbit with a diamond and a ruby as eyes. During the baroque, unusually formed pearls were seen as a gift from God. Goldsmiths were inspired by the individual pearl and freely invented a figure which was supplemented with gold and often with precious stones.

Several examples of this tradition can be seen in The Green Cabinet at Rosenborg. In the 1800s the tradition was revived, and the rabbit pendant stems from this period. The present was given in 1821, when Princess Caroline Amalie and her consort Prince Christian (VIII) Frederik stayed in Rome for an extended period during a three-year journey abroad and associated with Thorvaldsen and the circle around the famous artist.